SGI recently announced a contest. The coder of the OpenGL API demo judged best by a panel of judges will receive a $40,000 Onyx4 UltimateVision visualization machine, running IRIX. The contest is open to US and Canadian residents.
DirectX has been providing game developers with a great platform for rich and fast-paced games on Windows for many years. As these platform technologies advance to embrace the concepts of "Managed" programming, DirectX rises to meet the challenge head on.
In an excerpt from the forthcoming book ShaderX2 - Introduction and Tutorials with DirectX 9, Craig Peeper and Jason Mitchell present a detailed introduction to the Microsoft DirectX High Level Shading Language, including a number of example shaders and optimization strategies.
SGI and OpenGL architecture review board announced the OpenGL 1.5 specification, introducing support for a "revolutionary" OpenGL Shading Language. Also, SGI and Sun Microsystems' Software Platforms to work seamlessly together with Java bindings to OpenGL. I wonder if this new OpenGL 1.5 spec clashes with 3DLabs' suggested 2.0 specification somehow.
Microsoft has released DirectX 9.0b enduser runtime via WindowsUpdate and the release fixes some security problems and performance improvements. Download here, bug fix for 9.0a, more information on both issues here and here, SDK here.
DirectX 9.0a is an updated version of the DirectX 9.0 runtime which includes bug fixes and improves performance in the graphics and networking components. There are no new or modified APIs in this release. What's new or fixed:
At last week's WinHEC show, Nvidia Chief Scientist David Kirk pontificated on where 3D graphics rendering is going over the next decade. What can you expect? Photorealistic rendering and cinematic realism, of course. Bottom line -- it's not about pushing clock speeds and pixel rates, but rather making pixels much better looking!
Now it is possible to have hardware accelerated OpenGL with DirectFB.
The paper considers a mathematical model of the behavior of an assembly of N stars. The 'Kepler' Microsoft Windows demo application based of this model enables to perform real-time simulation of star clusters dynamics for N~=2500. Such performance rate is possible through the use of the Intel Integrated Performance Primitives (IPP) library. The paper also estimates the efficiency of the IPP application and provides an example of C-code with the IPP functions calls. Computer-simulated images of the spiral galaxy forming process, as well as the real galaxies photos, are presented.
A new DirectX 9.0a End-User Runtime download has appeared on the Microsoft website. This release resolves an issue with DirectX 9.0 where some multiplayer games or MSN Messenger may not work correctly. A number of minor bugs were also resolved.
UK Gamer features an extensive interview with Ben Bar Haim, ATi Technologies' Vice President of Software. The interview covers ATi's CATALYST software suites in particular. Regarding their new Radeon 9800 Pro product there have recently been many praising reviews.
"After long weeks of impatient waiting, it has finally arrived. NVIDIA has distributed the first GeForceFX cards to the press. Now, NVIDIA has to prove that it really has what it takes to topple ATI and its successful Radeon 9700 PRO from the throne." Benchmarks on TomsHardware, ExtremeTech, AnandTech and Hard|OCP.
Microsoft DirectX is a group of technologies designed to make Windows-based computers an ideal platform for running and displaying applications rich in multimedia elements such as full-color graphics, video, 3D animation, and rich audio. DirectX 9.0 includes security and performance updates, along with many new features across all technologies, which can be accessed by applications using the DirectX 9.0 APIs.Update: SDK download listing.
This is an unsupported Pre-Release version of DirectX 9.0 and may contain bugs or issues that prevent correct operation of DirectX applications. The DirectX 9.0 runtime cannot be uninstalled, so users should create a “System Restore” point before installing. This pre-release version expires on March 19, 2003. On other 3D news, here is an article about OpenGL's future.
Some months ago we reported on Ton's effort to Free his powerful 3D rendering package under the GPL, Blender. After almost 4 months and 100,000 euros, Blender is now completely free for all.
There's an interesting editorial at Mikhailtech regarding FPS, refresh rates and what the brain really distinguishes. Although he has no scientific background experience he has assembled some interesting facts. You can get more information on how the brain interprets visual data here.
AnandTech has reviewed ATI's latest mobile graphics solution. According to the reviewer this small and energy efficient chip is the new king when it comes to mobile graphic chips for notebooks. Also John Carmack is apparently very positive about the chip and also stated that Doom 3 will be able to run smoothly with this new Radeon chip.
It is possible to easily enable Quartz Extreme (QE) on G3s or G4s that do not have a QE compatible AGP 2x graphics card. The hack is described here. From some tests that users did, it seems that only the G3/G4 machines with 66 MHz PCI bus saw some acceleration. Machines with 33 Mhz PCI bus, did not. The hack would work only if you have a Radeon or a GeForce2MX+ card, because they share the same driver with their AGP versions (QE only works on Radeons and GeForce2+ -- ATi Rage cards do not work at all with QE, with or without hacks). Also, please note that users who enabled QE on their unsupported PCI machines, had major artifacts on some applications, most notably iTunes' visual playback (quite possibly because the PCI bus is not fast enough for what is required).
From NeoWin: "We have released the latest version of the DirectX D3D API to compliment the Beta 2 documentation. We recommend you review both the SDK documentation and this specification to assist development using Beta 2 DirectX D3D. The document includes: D3D-9 specs, D3D-9 shader specs, API changes explained, miscellaneous changes explained, sample code."