GLX available?

NoiseEHC NoiseEHC at
Mon Jan 7 16:41:06 EST 2008

> I have two questions:
> 1. Do you think you could implement realtime wireframes at 400x300? What
> about higher resolution?
> This would be enough to provide a preview for a 3D modeler.  3D Studio
> Max and similar tools only showed wireframes until you asked for a
> render, which could take several minutes.
> 2. Do you think you could implement a real-time OpenGL renderer with
> flat shading, one light-source, and no textures, at 400x300? How about
> Phong, or another interpolated shading model?
> This would be enough to implement 3D environments at the level of the
> original Starfox (which was fantastic).  With Phong at 1200x900, it
> could even be the slow, "high-quality" final output of a 3D modeler
> program.
> --Ben Schwartz
My target was a 400x300x30 real time texture mapped gouraud shaded 
renderer without bilinear filtering (and still is but need 
documentation...). As I learned more about the undocumented limitations 
of the Geode my initial optimism faded a little bit but it can still be 
done I think, it just requires much-much trickier code. After all Quake 
I has done 320x200 (256 colors) on a <200 MHz Pentiun I with much 
smaller caches and without MMX (not that MMX is very usable on the 
Geode, seems more like compatibility mode for me).
As for a 3D modeler, I think that the real problem is not wireframe 
rendering but creating a modeler. In other words, unless somebody ports 
Blender it will not happen. (I have read somewhere that it IS ported to 
the XO but they hit some usability problems, the small screen you 
know...) Another thing is what speed it will run, or can its renderer 
use the Geode's line drawing hardware, and another if this hardware 
capability is accessible through X or even if this hardware is faster 
than software line drawing.
BTW that is the reason I started to think about voxel rendering. First, 
it can be much faster on the Geode, and probably children can design 
voxel models (think about Red Alert II vehicles, for example a tank is 
~50x50x20 voxels, can be drawn one-by-one voxel in a very simple modeler).
OpenGL: as I see, all the scene managers (or renderers or what you want 
to call them) are optimized for hardware GL. It means that they do 
minimal culling and then throw the geometry at the graphics card in big 
batches and it is the responsibility of the hardware to sort them out. 
It will not have stellar performance with a software renderer, but I can 
be proved wrong. After all, that was the reason I did not want to 
reimplement TinyGL...


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