Using the GPU to speed-up a program?

John Gay johngay at
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.

> There is also a web interface - go through 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 

> 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 (-;


	John Gay

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