Fast sorting for exact OIT of complex scenes

Knowles, P, Leach, G and Zambetta, F 2014, 'Fast sorting for exact OIT of complex scenes', The Visual Computer, vol. 30, no. 68, pp. 603-613.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Fast sorting for exact OIT of complex scenes
Author(s) Knowles, P
Leach, G
Zambetta, F
Year 2014
Journal name The Visual Computer
Volume number 30
Issue number 68
Start page 603
End page 613
Total pages 11
Publisher Springer
Abstract Exact order-independent transparency (OIT) techniques capture all fragments during rasterization. The fragments are then sorted per-pixel by depth and composited in order using alpha transparency. The sorting stage is a bottleneck for high depth complexity scenes, taking 70-95 % of the total time for those investigated. In this paper, we show that typical shader-based sorting speed is impacted by local memory latency and occupancy. We present and discuss the use of both registers and an external merge sort in register-based block sort to better use the memory hierarchy of the GPU for improved OIT rendering performance. This approach builds upon backwards memory allocation, achieving an OIT rendering speed up to 1.7 × that of the best previous method and 6.3 × that of the common straight forward OIT implementation. In some cases, the sorting stage is reduced to no longer be the dominant OIT component.
Subject Computer Graphics
Keyword(s) OIT
Performance
Register-based block sort
Registers
Shaders
Sorting
Transparency
Copyright notice © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
ISSN 0178-2789
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