Using the GPU to speed-up a program?

John Gay johngay at eircom.net
Tue Mar 1 11:22:26 PST 2005


On Tuesday 01 March 2005 17:42, TAustin wrote:
>         This topic has come up a couple of times in the POV-Ray newsgroups
> and has had some good discussion.  Basically it isn't something that they
> are going to pursue at this time because it does not fit into the
> development model that they follow.  For the same reason multi processor
> systems are not supported.
>
But SMP does not lend itself well to ray tracing, since so many objects can 
affect each ray, so it's difficult to divide an image between processors.

> I think the major hang up is making these ideas cross-platform.  They
> are good ideas and have their merit.  You might want to do a search in
> the newsgroups for the previous discussions.
>
And there's the rub. But most 3D cards implement OpenGL, which provided 
optimised matrix calculations, clipping, projecting and rasterizing in a 
hardware pipeline with a common API. The actual implementations are card 
specific, but the API is OpenGL, which si cross-platform.

> news.povray.org
> There is also a web interface - go through www.povray.org to get to it.
>
> You are welcome to bring it up again - actually it might be good to
> bring up, but I would suggest not trying to argue that it is a good
> idea.  Just about everyone will agree with you, but the hang up will be
> with cross-platform functionality.  If you can foster the discussion on
> how to make something like that cross-platform, you might have some real
> good and productive discussion going on.  Otherwise you might get
> frustrated that you can't get it into their heads that it really is a
> good idea.
>
I'm not arguing that it's a good idea, I'm asking if it can and should be 
implemented. I only know a little C programming and some OpenGL. I've seen 
that other, more professional programs, like Maya and Houdini claim to run 
much faster with a 3D card and I'm wondering how and if that can be 
incorporated into other programmes like POV-Ray, which I am using for 
animating.

> The POV-Ray team is not opposed to someone taking the source code and
> modifying it to incorporate this functionality.  It is not open-source,
> but is freely available.  Some other people have made some interesting
> mods in the past - SLIME-POV (or something similar) is one that comes to
> mind.
>
But that would need someone with real programming skills (-; I know that Moray 
was very popular for quite a while, I'd just like to see the work get 
contributed back to the POV-Ray team, as they have provided this excellent 
tool for so many years.

> My only affiliation with POV-Ray is that I have been a fan for 10 years
> and have been following the newsgroups for 2-3 years.  I'm only trying
> to prevent what I see happen lots of times in the newsgroups - someone
> comes in with a good idea and gets frustrated because it isn't readily
> accepted.
>
Yes, the team does have a lot going on, and can't just add new ideas. I'm just 
asking for curiosity's sake, more than anything else. I'd love to see this 
added, but I understand to would take a proper programmer to actually write 
and test the code, and ensure cross-platform capability.

> Have a great day and see ya in the POV newsgroups.

Since I'm on a pay-per-minute dial-up, I don't spend a lot of time with 
newsgroups. Mailing lists use enough of my Internet time (-;

Cheers,

	John Gay



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