The Forge – Release 1.14 – August 9th, 2018 – Early Alpha of the Shader Translator system | Refactored Texture / Rendertarget interface for all platforms

https://github.com/ConfettiFX/The-Forge

An early alpha of Confetti Shader Translator

http://confettishadertranslator.azurewebsites.net

The Forge is available on GitHub

Today we open-source our new rendering framework on GitHub. Our old rendering framework served us now nine years. Let’s hope the new one will be good for the same time frame.

The Forge on GitHub

There is a Twitter channel called @TheForge_FX

Although we consider this framework still our internal workspace, we will try to regularly provide updates of the GitHub repository.

Confetti’s 2017 – A Retrospective

As the year winds to a close, we wanted to reflect on 2017 to outline the exciting projects we worked on and to thank all of you out there for your support.
In the nearly nine years of Confetti’s existence, this was by far the most exciting, most successful, and most colorful year.
This year we added even more office space and we need to move to a bigger office building probably soon due to lack of space in our current building. Apart from the offices in Spain and Netherlands, we also opened up an office now in India.
Before we dive into the list of projects of 2017, we would like to thank everyone who recommended us to new clients. Your recommendation is our biggest reward!

At the beginning of the year we extended the Amazon Lumberyard Engine with the Microsoft HLSL compiler. We also provided better Android support for this engine.
https://aws.amazon.com/lumberyard/

We started on the StarVR SDK in July 2016 and kept developing its software stack throughout 2017, working on every software aspect of the system. With all the momentum behind that system, 2018 looks thrilling.
https://www.starvr.com/

This year we also worked with Magic Leap on Unreal Engine 4 support and optimized UE4 for a specific usage pattern in a demo.
https://www.magicleap.com/

Rendering in a web browser becomes more and more feasible with the improving support of WebGL in browsers. Our WebGL 2 based project of the year was to upgrade the rendering system of Amazon Sumerian.
https://aws.amazon.com/sumerian/

Apart from being on the Vulkan Advisory Board and helping to move the API forward, we also worked with Apple on test cases for the new Metal 2 shader language, with our new rendering framework called “The Forge” (more on that later).

We very much enjoyed working with Supergiant Games on their game Transistor a few years ago. One of the game highlights of the year was Pyre. This game reached a very high meta ranking:
https://www.supergiantgames.com/games/pyre/
We helped Supergiant Games to get this game running efficiently on the PS4.

Later on in the year we optimized Unreal Engine 4 for the VR game “Sprint Vector” by Survios:
https://survios.com/sprintvector/
We added GeometryFX to the Unreal Engine 4 to filter triangles in a compute shader before they hit the GPU.

For more than six months we are working now on Vulkan support in Quake Champions.
https://quake.bethesda.net/en/landing
https://www.techpowerup.com/232086/id-software-readies-quake-champions-with-vulkan-support-and-ryzen-optimization
The game is super fun to play! A worthy successor to the Quake games of the 90ieth that many of us remember playing.

Our middleware package Aura shipped this year in the game Agents of Mayhem:
https://kotaku.com/agents-of-mayhem-the-kotaku-review-1797840217
The game is an awesome showcase for Dynamic Global Illumination.

One of our internal projects is our new rendering framework “The Forge”. It was build for next-gen APIs with support for DirectX 12 / Vulkan on PC, XBOX One, macOS / iOS with Metal 2. There will be a PS4 run-time soon.
This framework was designed for multi-threaded command buffer generation, multi-threaded resource loading, cross-platform shader reflection system and many cool features more. We are hoping to open-source it soon …
https://github.com/ConfettiFX
Stay tuned for even more exciting stuff! Many of our unannounced projects can’t make it into a retrospective like this. You guys know who you are! Thanks for working with us. Oh and yes we are working on that new website.

Confetti’s 2016 – A Retrospective

As the year winds to a close, we wanted to reflect on 2016 to outline the exciting projects we worked on and to thank all of you out there who support us.

In the nearly eight years of Confetti’s existence, this was by far the most exciting, most successful, and most colorful year (I know we said this the last three years, but it is true :-)).

This year we grew again out of our office space while still having the challenge to find more space in our Encinitas building. We now occupy the two biggest rooms in the building as well as one of the medium sized rooms. We also started a new office in Castellon, Spain (close to Valencia), to offer even more support for our European customers.

We would like to thank everyone who recommended us to new clients. Your recommendation is our biggest reward!

At the beginning of the year, we helped to create the Samsung S7 Galaxy Launch demo in collaboration with Epic, Samsung, and Qualcomm. Epic hired us to help with the addition of Vulkan support in the Unreal Engine 4. The resulting ProtoStar demo was shown running live on the actual device during the Samsung S7 Galaxy Launch. If you were a member of the development team, you could feel a sense of great relief and excitement when the demo was over. Later on, we developed an even closer relationship with Samsung which allows us to have better technical support for Vulkan implementations in mobile games.

This year’s GDC was one of our most successful ones. We worked on an astonishing amount of demos and games that were shown on the GDC show floor.
We wrote an SDK that would help developers add Dolby Vision support. We added Dolby Vision to Unreal Engine 4 and Amazon Lumberyard, and our SDK was used by Frostbite. Amazon showed the Rin and the Deep Sea Creatures demos. They also demonstrated the iOS / Android support and the Particle Editor improvements we did for the engine. Epic showed the Paragon and the McLaren demos with Dolby Vision as well as the ProtoStar demo from the Samsung S7 Galaxy Launch event.

In the following months, we fine-tuned the Dolby Vision implementation and wrote a Dolby Vision Video player for XBOX One / PS4.

From March 2016 to August, we worked on Mafia 3 and optimized the game for the XBOX One.

In August 2016, we presented a new next-gen rendering architecture called “The Filtered and Culled Visibility Buffer” during GDC Europe. This new rendering architecture is mostly based on the idea of checking visibility of triangles shortly after all triangles are cluster culled and filtered. Applying triangle cluster culling and then filtering a whole scene for several rendering views at the same time can generate astonishing performance improvements on XBOX One, PS4, and also on PCs. This new rendering system was well perceived by Insomniac, Microsoft, Activision, and others.

In September / October, we helped Reforged Studios prepare their game demo, working on particles, shadows, and bloom effects for the iOS platforms.

In November we finished more than six months of work on Battlefield 1. We mostly worked on DirectX 12 support, Multi-GPU support, and various optimizations.

One of our secret IP projects this year was going through 1500 GPU related patents, categorizing them, and then extrapolating where the future of graphics is heading based on those patents.

In November, Wolfgang gave another one-day Masterclass in Montreal during MIGS16. The topics were triangle cluster culling and filtering, ExecuteIndirect with DirectX 12, Dynamic Global Illumination, and Modern PostFX pipeline.

Since July 2016 we’ve been working on the SDK for StarVR. This SDK will offer an API that allows integrating StarVR support in any custom engine, including Unreal Engine 4 and others. The SDK provides several examples that show how to implement certain techniques and how to drive the StarVR HMD.

Since December 2016 we also have been working with Deutsche Telekom on a secret project that involves real-world drones and AI. Stay tuned for next year to hear more about this exciting endeavor.

As in the previous several years, we’ve spent the whole year working on the Amazon Lumberyard engine, improving the particle system and mobile support.

We also worked on a wide range of new tech that we developed in-house. Our middleware packages Aura, Ephemeris, and PixelPuzzle evolved further and are running even more efficiently on PC, PS4 and XBOX One. Stay tuned for even more exciting stuff! 🙂

Many of our unannounced projects can’t make it into a retrospective like this. You guys know who you are! Thanks for working with us 🙂 Oh and yes we are working on that new website 🙂

GDCE 2016 – The filtered and Culled Visibility Buffer

Here is the executive summary: we built a rendering system that

  • Cluster culls and filters triangles for different views like main view, shadow view, reflection view, GI view etc. at the same time
  • The optimized triangles are used to fill a screen-space Visibility Buffer or more Visibility Buffers for more views
  • We then render lights, shadows, bounce lights with the optimized geometry based on visibility
  • We can differ between visibility of geometry and shading frequency
  • We can light per triangle or in so called object space

Please download the slide deck from this link.

Confetti’s 2015 – A Retrospective

As the year winds to a close, we wanted to reflect on 2015, outline the exciting projects we worked on and thank all of you out there, who support us.

In the nearly seven years of Confetti’s existence, this was by far the most exciting, most successful and most colorful year (I know we said this the last two years, but it is true :-)).

This year we started a new tools department, grew again out of our office space while still having the challenge of finding more space, worked with the coolest projects in the industry and
established our office in Europe in Breda, Netherlands to serve our European customers better.

This is also the first year, where we can see the effect of what we call “third-generation” recommendations. We worked with a company in 2010, the person we worked with moved to the next company and recommended us and then from this company someone moved on and recommended us again to the third customer. Thanks for all the awesome recommendations!!

This year we helped to ship Transistor for iOS. This is an awesome game and we enjoyed working with the super nice and talented team of Supergiant Games a lot! Make sure to checkout the game!

We also helped to launch Vainglory on the Android platform in the first months of the year. If you like to play a MOBA on a mobile platform check it out. It was a joy to work with the super cool team at SuperEvil Mega Corp.

This year we also started a project with the famous German research center KIT in Karlsruhe. Our relationship with these guys goes way back to the founding of this company. Carsten Dachsbacher has always been a member of our advisory board. We are hoping to publish the project we worked on as open-source very soon. Not to spill the beans, but it has something to do with a next-gen rendering system; in other words more lights and many more shadows compared to current rendering systems.

One of the few remaining IPs that we haven’t worked on in the last seven years was Call of Duty. We were painfully aware of this until we got the chance to finally work on Call of Duty Black Ops III. Now we can say we worked on many or most of the big IPs in our industry 🙂

Since nearly seven years, Qualcomm is a great customer and this year like every other year we worked on a few interesting new projects with them. Supporting a “tinkering” hardware platform was one of them. We also returned to the Qualcomm offices in Bangalore and Hyderabad.

We are a middleware / consulting / service company for the game and movie industry. This year we worked with Red Giant on future real-time rendering high-quality post-processing effects for movie post production.

Our friends at Undead Labs are one of our returning customers. This year we helped them with various additions to their engine, including adding a new real-time skydome system with volumetric clouds.

Dolby Vision is the new HDR standard for TVs/ Monitors of the future. It is very impressive to see these new TVs/Monitors in action. We wrote the Dolby Vision SDK and now support various game developers and hardware vendors in implementing it.

Since nearly two years we work with Amazon Game Studios on their game engine. Creating new and especially next-gen technologies for many hardware platforms never fails to excite us 🙂

With the new rendering APIs available now, we are involved not only in designing those APIs in Microsoft’s Advisory Board and in the Khronos Group but also frequently implement them in game engines. We worked on various game engines this year on implementing Metal / iOS, DirectX 12 and Vulkan PC/Mobile.

We also worked on a wide range of new tech that we developed in-house, like for example a next-gen rendering system that removes the memory bandwidth overhead of filling G-Buffers from the rendering equation. Our middleware packages Aura, Ephemeris and PixelPuzzle evolved and are running even more efficiently on PC, PS4 and XBOX One. There is also a new middleware package at the horizon. Stay tuned for even more exciting stuff! 🙂

Many of our unannounced projects can’t make it into a retrospective like this. You guys know who you are! Thanks for working with us 🙂

Oh and yes we are working on that new website …