Multi-fragment effects on the GPU using the k-buffer

Louis Bavoil, Steven P. Callahan, Aaron Lefohn, João L D Comba, Cláudio T. Silva

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Many interactive rendering algorithms require operations on multiple fragments (i.e., ray intersections) at the same pixel location: however, current Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) capture only a single fragment per pixel. Example effects include transparency, translucency, constructive solid geometry, depth-of-field, direct volume rendering, and isosurface visualization. With current GPUs, programmers implement these effects using multiple passes over the scene geometry, often substantially limiting performance. This paper introduces a generalization of the Z-buffer, called the k-buffer, that makes it possible to efficiently implement such algorithms with only a single geometry pass, yet requires only a small, fixed amount of additional memory. The k-buffer uses framebuffer memory as a read-modify-write (RMW) pool of k entries whose use is programmatically defined by a small k-buffer program. We present two proposals for adding k-buffer support to future GPUs and demonstrate numerous multiple-fragment, single-pass graphics algorithms running on both a software-simulated k-buffer and a k-buffer implemented with current GPUs. The goal of this work is to demonstrate the large number of graphics algorithms that the k-buffer enables and that the efficiency is superior to current multipass approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - I3D 2007, ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games
Pages97-104
Number of pages8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007
EventACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games, I3D 2007 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: Apr 30 2007May 2 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings - I3D 2007, ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games

Other

OtherACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games, I3D 2007
CountryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA
Period4/30/075/2/07

Keywords

  • Blending
  • CSG
  • Fragment processing
  • Graphics hardware
  • Transparency
  • Visibility ordering
  • Volume rendering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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  • Cite this

    Bavoil, L., Callahan, S. P., Lefohn, A., Comba, J. L. D., & Silva, C. T. (2007). Multi-fragment effects on the GPU using the k-buffer. In Proceedings - I3D 2007, ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games (pp. 97-104). (Proceedings - I3D 2007, ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games). https://doi.org/10.1145/1230100.1230117