Rendering Hardware

One key stage during the 3D development of a particular object, has to rendered at the end of the process for the object to be complete. In this post i am going to be stating simple facts about rendering hardware and its capabilities.

API

Firstly an API in rendering terms, is  named Application Programming Interface. An API is the initial interface which is between a 3D Application and the hardware which is being used to render the object. The main function, this usually happens after all the steps in the animation process have been completed.

GPU 

The next point in relation to rendering hardware is a GPU. A GPU stands for graphics processing unit. A GPU is a dedicated graphics rendering tool for a number of media consoles, such as PC and Games console.

“A GPU implements a number of graphics primitive operations in a way that makes running them much faster than drawing directly to the screen with the host CPU.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPU

Throughout the history, GPU’s have developed mainly from the moonlithic graphic chip’s of the early 1980’s and 90’s. The first gaming console to use a style of  a GPU was the commadore amiga in the early 1980’s.

amiga1k.jpg

Shader’s

 A shader is a something is something which has the ability to define final surface properties, such as Colour, lighting and reflectivity, and transluscency of a surface.

Both the DirectX and OpenGL graphic libraries use three types of shaders. These are Vertex shader which only effect certain series of vertices and can therefore only effect vertex properties like position, color, and texture coordinate.

Rendering Engine

A rendering engine is a process which generates an image from a model.  The main model is a description of 3D objects from a data structure. The image contans information from points such as geometry, viewpoint, texture, lighting, and shading.

Rendering is used in many forms of media entertainment to render final productions.

Some of these include;

video games,

simulators,

movie or TV special effects, and design visualization.

Each of these forms of entertainment use differing amounts of balance and technique.

Why SGI graphics are considered to be important in the development of hardware renderers?

Silicon graphics are considered to play such a key role in the development of hardware renderers as silicon graphics were the founders of Open GL graphics.

James Clarke

James Clarke is a very well know entrepeneur who  formally specialised in in comouter scientists. In the more recent times he hs founded several notiable companies under the silicon Valley technology.

The reason why James Clarke is one of the most notable founders in computer graphics is because his research into computer graphics led to the development of systems for fast rendering of computer images.

Pro’s  and cons of Open GL and Direct X shaders

Open GL

The Open GL Shader is cross Platform,

Open GL is very portable and is able to be used in a variety of situations and is very straight forward to use.

Open GL is unlikely to evolve at a fast rate.

Direct X

DirectX supports a greater set of features.

DirectX gives programmers a great deal of control over the rendering pipeline if they want it.  DirectX 9.0 features programmable pixel and vertex shaders

Direct X has better support for modern chipset features.

Direct X also is very straightforward however, this is not cross platform like the open GL, where as the direct X can in many cases only work on the Windows Platform.

However it has some driver issues.

DirectX is not portable and probably never will be.