Vulkan support

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scrawl
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Vulkan support

Post by scrawl » 08 Feb 2016, 23:44

Since I just brought up Vulkan in another thread, I might as well write down my thoughts on if/how/when OpenMW will support Vulkan.

In the short term, the easiest way to use Vulkan is to implement an OpenGL library on top of Vulkan. This is similar to just using the driver's OpenGL support, but brings a number of possible advantages:

- Reduced chance of driver bugs, the Vulkan driver is much smaller than the OpenGL driver.
- Possibly better performance of the OpenGL stack.
- Available source code for the OpenGL library, you wouldn't have that when using a proprietary driver's OpenGL support. More FOSS is always better!
- The OpenGL library can be customized/optimized for a particular game, and you can write new extensions/features as needed.

I imagine that many people will realize these benefits and that some free and open source OpenGL implementations will pop up after Vulkan is released.

Now, the disadvantage of that approach is that even though we'd use Vulkan under the hood, the OpenGL way of handling threads, contexts, and state is still flawed for a high performance throughput, so in the longer term we will want a native Vulkan renderer. The big question here is "Can OSG use Vulkan?" and the short answer is no, not in its current form, and rewriting it to use Vulkan would be a poor fit. However, Robert Osfield has hinted he has interest in developing a new scene graph more suited to explicit graphics API's, that, while not directly compatible with OSG, will reuse many of its components and concepts, so that a transition for OSG users would be doable. It seems that our best bet is to wait and see what happens.

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raevol
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Re: Vulkan support

Post by raevol » 09 Feb 2016, 08:33

scrawl wrote:Robert Osfield has hinted he has interest in developing a new scene graph more suited to explicit graphics API's, that, while not directly compatible with OSG, will reuse many of its components and concepts, so that a transition for OSG users would be doable. It seems that our best bet is to wait and see what happens.
Fair enough! I am super excited for Vulkan, and it does seem like taking advantage of it in the most efficient way would be best.

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FiftyTifty
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Re: Vulkan support

Post by FiftyTifty » 09 Feb 2016, 18:16

If this fella is anything to go by, Vulkan is going to be swanky as all hell, and will be a huge step up from OpenGL: http://www.joshbarczak.com/blog/?p=154

That, and making draw calls a non-issue is something that needs to be done. Especially for those of us with lesser processors. Hell, we'd finally be able to have proper open-world environments, and wouldn't have an absolute need for texture atlases.
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Br0ken
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Re: Vulkan support

Post by Br0ken » 11 Feb 2017, 22:07

Robert Osfield of OSG write:
My plan is complete the OSG-3.6 stable release and then move to the
new scene graph.

My intention is for the core of the new scene graph to be API
agnostic, then have backends for Vulkan, OpenGL and OpenGL ES.

The focus will be primarily on Vulkan in terms of making sure the
design of the scene graph fully leverage what Vulkan is capable of.
Until we get an implementation going I can't say exactly how this will
impact the OpenGL/ES side. The new scene graph needs to be relevant
to application developers for the next 15+ years, taking over the
"mantel" from the OSG is this respect ;-)

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psi29a
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Re: Vulkan support

Post by psi29a » 12 Feb 2017, 08:54

So good news all around then, 3.6 is soon to be released and next iteration will render-backend agnostic to add vulkan backend. :)

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silentthief
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Re: Vulkan support

Post by silentthief » 13 Feb 2017, 01:58

MajinCry wrote:Especially for those of us with lesser processors.
Hear, Hear!!!

I play around with openmw on a laptop that is 6 years old. I was hoping not to get "phased out" due to graphics surpassing the laptop. Not everyone is able to get a new rig for openmw (oh, I will upgrade eventually...).

ST
100% not a dev, but I know a little about Linux, MW, and scripting. I try to help. LMK if you have any questions.

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Pherim
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Re: Vulkan support

Post by Pherim » 13 Feb 2017, 09:36

silentthief wrote:I play around with openmw on a laptop that is 6 years old. I was hoping not to get "phased out" due to graphics surpassing the laptop. Not everyone is able to get a new rig for openmw (oh, I will upgrade eventually...).
I believe there is no reason why you should at some point no longer be able to use OpenMW on your laptop, if you can do so, now... the 1.0 goal is to fully replace the original engine, with equal or better performance, and all graphics enhancements that will be added on top of that will certainly be entirely optional.

I am super hyped for Vulkan, though! Would be amazing to get support in OpenMW.

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lysol
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Re: Vulkan support

Post by lysol » 13 Feb 2017, 12:33

Pherim wrote:
silentthief wrote:I play around with openmw on a laptop that is 6 years old. I was hoping not to get "phased out" due to graphics surpassing the laptop. Not everyone is able to get a new rig for openmw (oh, I will upgrade eventually...).
... the 1.0 goal is to fully replace the original engine, with equal or better performance, and all graphics enhancements that will be added on top of that will certainly be entirely optional.
Optional or not, it makes no sense to stop developing an engine to become more graphically advanced because one guy has a 6 year old laptop.
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TechNoirMK
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Re: Vulkan support

Post by TechNoirMK » 14 Feb 2017, 06:36

So, no OpenMW for my Pentium 4/GF 5200FX ultimate toaster? :cry:


lol jk

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psi29a
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Re: Vulkan support

Post by psi29a » 14 Feb 2017, 09:44

That should work just fine on Linux. :) (I have a P4 with a GT9600 in the garage.) No vulkan suppor, yet...

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