[x3d-public] Vulcan, Metal, WebGPU impact on x3d NG

John Carlson yottzumm at gmail.com
Mon May 13 17:04:04 PDT 2019

Ideally, you could raytrace several frames in advance?


Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: GPU Group
Sent: Monday, May 13, 2019 3:31 PM
To: X3D Graphics public mailing list
Subject: Re: [x3d-public] Vulcan, Metal, WebGPU impact on x3d NG

DXR (directX) and RTX (Vulkan) can raytrace in real-time on capable (primarily recent RTX series nVidia) GPUs.
- DXR (DirectX) will run in fallback mode on slightly older GPUs iet GTX
- that may relate to PBR, like Blender Disney or shader materials
- can do 'computational geometry' - no triangles, you write a shader to decide what to do with a ray
- otherwise triangles is builtin
But how would it all work with web3d?
Hypothesis: on mouse-up or button press you could raytrace the last frame.
Doug Sanden

On Mon, May 13, 2019 at 1:46 PM Andreas Plesch <andreasplesch at gmail.com> wrote:
There is a new generation of low level graphics programming which aims
to (slowly) replace OpenGL. I think the goal is to better match modern
GPU hardware capabilities. These interfaces are becoming more widely
used. For example, Vulcan is used increasingly by games and Chrome
Canary on Macs now has WebGPU support:




So we may ask if development of X3D would be impacted by these new technologies.

One might say, X3D is high level and abstract and therefore only
implementations in X3D browsers are affected.

But it is also important to realize that there is a pretty strong
connection from OpenGL to Inventor to VRML to X3D. In fact, some X3D
nodes are direct reflections of OpenGL constructs.

So these new low level technologies may be good opportunity to see if
X3D should adapt. I do not know much about those technologies but one
common theme seems to be less or no distinction with compute programs
(shaders) and graphics programs (shaders) on the GPU, better sharing
between CPU and GPU, and also shared memory on the GPU for parallel
access by many GPU units. Wikipedia has some overviews.

All web 3d frameworks are currently WebGL based. It will be
interesting to see how their abstractions fit with WebGPU, the
designated successor to WebGL.

As a concrete matter, it seems likely that the Programmable shaders
component would be affected. For example, WebGPU uses WHLSL:

It may make sense to start thinking about these interfaces early for
those of us so inclined,


Andreas Plesch
Waltham, MA 02453

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