The Forge is a cross-platform rendering framework supporting
- Windows 10
- with DirectX 12 / Vulkan 1.1
- with DirectX Ray Tracing API
- DirectX 11 Fallback Layer for Windows 7 support (not extensively tested)
- Linux Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with Vulkan 1.1
- Windows 10
- Android Pie with Vulkan 1.1
- macOS with Metal 2
- iOS with Metal 2
- XBOX One / XBOX One X (only available for accredited developers on request)
- PS4 (in development) (only available for accredited developers on request)
Particularly, The Forge supports cross-platform
- Descriptor management
- Multi-threaded resource loading
- Shader reflection
- Multi-threaded command buffer generation
Future plans are
- Unified shader generation -> check out an alpha version of the Confetti Shader Translator. This shader translator is build with the purpose of supporting a higher-level shading language, which we call super HLSL or short sHLSL
The intended usage of The Forge is to enable developers to quickly build their own game engines. The Forge can provide the rendering layer for custom next-gen game engines.
Release 1.19 - November 1st, 2018 - Material Playground
- Added more materials to the Material Playground. Therefore you want to download the Art folder again just for this release (see the Install section below on how to do this). Here are shots of five of the supported platforms:
- Updated Fontstash library to the latest version and added .OTF font file support
- macOS / iOS Metal 2 we are working on applications running on those run-times, so there is a constant stream of improvmements coming in:
- Sampler arrays
- Enable some parts of GPU profiler code for debug markers, cpu timestamps on Metal runtime
- File system bug fixes
- Include headers fixes
- Improved error and warnings in Metal shaders
Release 1.18 - October 18th, 2018 - Animation System Ozz support | Vulkan native Ubuntu Linux package support
- The Forge now uses the Ozz animation system. This is our first major change to the math library because we needed to add what is necessary for animation. We compared the speed of our math library then with the speed of the Ozz animation system math library and they are about the same. At some point we need to do AVX 1 and ARM specific optimizations to our math library, which is still based on the open-sourced changed Sony math library Vectormath, which is similar to the Bullet math library ...
A screenshot of the PC version:
Here are shots of four of the supported platforms:
We added several unit tests for Ozz. Please find descriptions below.
- Extended the file system for all platforms, making it more consistent to use and more functional
- Tabified - tabified the whole code base ... finally ...
- glTF - we made sure glTF 2.0 support is improved in the latest assimp we use. This should allow us in the future to use glTF 2.0 art assets easier
- Linux / Vulkan - we applaud Khronos for the native Ubuntu Linux package for all the elements of the Vulkan SDK LunarG Vulkan SDK Packages for Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04 and will support those from now on. This is something that makes gaming on Linux Ubuntu easier to approach for end-users.
- we have a hard time to get the "Wave Intrinsics unit test" running. It runs now on our MacBook Pro test machines with Intel GPUs but not on the iMacs with AMD GPUs. It throws compile errors on the iPhone 7. We are providing Apple with info on their bug tracker.
- upgraded to Xcode Version: 10.0 (10A255) and MacOS Version: 10.14 (18A389)
- there are numerous improvements for the input system, imGUI and other things
- support shader includes on iOS like on the other platforms
- Android Pie & Vulkan 1.1 - we are waiting for devkits with better driver support before we move on with this target platform
- XBOX One - see internal GitLab list for improvements as usual ...
Release 1.17 - October 4th, 2018 - Android Pie & Vulkan 1.1 Support | iOS imGUI touch & virtual keyboard | DXR Ray Tracing support | Call for contributors to change IRenderer.h
- The Forge now has initial support for Android with the same Vulkan 1.1 run-time that is used by the Windows and Linux platforms.
There are only a few phones that support Vulkan 1.1. We developed and support the Essential Phone. This phone uses an Adreno 540 GPU and can be obtained relatively cheap and unlocked from Amazon or similar sources. Please check out Vulkan Gpuinfo.org for the supported feature list of this GPU with Android 9.0. At the moment only the first two unit tests are running but we will extend the support to as many as we can in an upcoming release. We expect to run into driver bugs. We will not actively support Vulkan 1.0.
- Vulkan - mobile phone support see above
- upgraded to 12.0 (16A366)
- we extended imGUI support for iOS with touch support and virtual keyboard
- Windows - fixed resizing ... should now work again with Alt+Enter ...
- Windows DXR - The Forge was the first rendering framework to support DXR, now that there will be hardware support, we added a screenshot of one of the unit tests below. We will add support for the other Ray Tracing APIs as well. They are useful for developing Tools. For games we recommend the Hybrid Ray-Traced solutions provided below (so far only shadows).
- Upgraded the Order-Independent Transparency unit test to support Phenomenological Transparency as described in one of Morgan McGuire's papers. Here are screenshots:
Phenomenological Transparency - Refraction
Phenomenological Transparency - Diffusion
Phenomenological Transparency - Diffusion, Refraction, Shadows
- Linux - the wave intrinsics unit test now also works on Linux. We are looking into macOS / iOS next.
- Call for contributors to change IRenderer.h - as a heads-up, we will change the renderer interface to use our own way of "Render Passes and Compute Passes" similar to the Vulkan render passes. We will analyze render and compute calls and use this information to expose data to a "Render Graph" that will be implemented on a higher level. If you want to be part of the group that thinks about how we should adjust IRenderer.h for this, please send Wolfgang a note and your skype ID
See the release notes from previous releases in the Release section.
PC Windows Requirements:
Windows 10 with latest update
- AMD / NVIDIA - latest drivers should work. On Vulkan, at least NVIDIA Beta Driver 389.20 are required to support Linked Multi-GPU.
- Intel - need to install the latest driver (currently Version: 22.214.171.12426, October 9th, 2018) Intel® Graphics Driver for Windows® 10. As mentioned before this driver still doesn't have full DirectX 12 and Vulkan support.
Visual Studio 2017 with Windows SDK / DirectX version 16299.91 (Fall Creators Update) https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/downloads/sdk-archive
- DirectX Raytracing Experimental SDK v0.09.01
- Windows 10 RS4 builds more info at DXR
- The Forge is currently tested on
- AMD 5x, VEGA GPUs (various)
- NVIDIA GeForce 9x, 10x GPUs (various)
- Intel Skull Canyon
macOS: 10.14 (18A389)
XCode: 10.0 (10A255)
The Forge is currently tested on the following macOS devices:
- iMac with AMD RADEON 560 (Part No. MNDY2xx/A)
- iMac with AMD RADEON 580 (Part No. MNED2xx/A)
- MacBook Pro 13 inch (MacBookPro13,2)
- Macbook Pro 13 inch (MacbookPro14,2)
In the moment we do not have access to an iMac Pro or Mac Pro. We can test those either with Team Viewer access or by getting them into the office and integrating them into our build system. We will not test any Hackintosh configuration.
iOS: 12.0 (16A366)
XCode: see macOS
To run the unit tests, The Forge requires an iOS device with an A9 or higher CPU (see GPU Processors or see iOS_Family in this table iOS_GPUFamily3_v3). This is required to support the hardware tessellation unit test and the ExecuteIndirect unit test (requires indirect buffer support). The Visibility Buffer doesn't run on current iOS devices because the texture argument buffer on those devices is limited to 31 (see Metal Feature Set Table and look for the entry "Maximum number of entries in the texture argument table, per graphics or compute function") , while on macOS it is 128, which we need for the bindless texture array.
We are currently testing on
- iPhone 7 (Model A1778)
- iPad (Model A1803)
PC Linux Requirements:
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Kernel Version: 4.15.0-20-generic
- AMDGpu-Pro 18.30-641594
- NVIDIA Linux x86_64/AMD64/EM64T 390.87 You can update using the command line too https://tecadmin.net/install-latest-nvidia-drivers-ubuntu/
Workspace file is provided for codelite
Vulkan SDK Version: download the native Ubuntu Linux package for all the elements of the Vulkan SDK LunarG Vulkan SDK Packages for Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04
The Forge is currently tested on Ubuntu with the following GPUs:
- AMD RADEON RX 480
- AMD RADEON VEGA 56
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
Make sure VulkanSDK environment variables are configured correctly. Please read the "Set up the Runtime Environment" and "Environment Variable Persistence" https://vulkan.lunarg.com/doc/sdk/126.96.36.199/linux/getting_started.html
Android Phone with Android Pie (9.x) for Vulkan 1.1 support
Android Studio with API level 28 and follow the instructions
We are currently testing on
- Essential Phone with Android 9.0 - Build PPR1.181005.034
In the moment we only support the first two unit tests. We are waiting for devkits with more stable drivers before we bring over the other unit tests. The Essential phone uses an Adreno 540 GPU. Please check out Vulkan Gpuinfo.org for the supported feature list of this GPU with Android 9.0.
For PC Windows run PRE_BUILD.bat. For the other platforms run the shell script. It will download and unzip the art assets and only on PC install the shader builder extension for Visual Studio 2017.
There are the following unit tests in The Forge:
This unit test just shows a simple solar system. It is our "3D game Hello World" setup for cross-platform rendering.
This unit test shows a Julia 4D fractal running in a compute shader. In the future this test will use several compute queues at once.
3. Multi-Threaded Rendering
This unit test shows how to generate a large number of command buffers on all platforms supported by The Forge. This unit test is based on a demo by Intel called Stardust.
This unit test shows the difference in speed between Instanced Rendering, using ExecuteIndirect with CPU update of the indirect argument buffers and using ExecuteIndirect with GPU update of the indirect argument buffers. This unit test is based on the Asteroids example by Intel.
5. Font Rendering
This unit test shows the current state of our font rendering library that is based on several open-source libraries.
6. Material Playground
This unit test will show a wide range of game related materials in the future.
7. Hardware Tessellation
This unit test showcases the rendering of grass with the help of hardware tessellation.
In the spirit of the shadertoy examples this unit test shows a procedurally generated planet.
9. Light and Shadow Playground
This unit test shows various shadow and lighting techniques that can be chosen from a drop down menu. There will be more in the future.
9a. Hybrid Ray-Traced Shadows
This unit test was build by Kostas Anagnostou @KostasAAA to show how to ray trace shadows without using a ray tracing API like DXR / RTX. It should run on all GPUs (not just NVIDIA RTX GPUs) and the expectation is that it should run comparable with a DXR / RTX based version even on a NVIDIA RTX GPU. That means the users of your game do not have to buy a NVIDIA RTX GPU to enjoy HRT shadows :-)
10. Pixel-Projected Reflections
This unit test shows reflections that are ray traced. It is an implementation of the papers Optimized pixel-projected reflections for planar reflectors and IMPLEMENTATION OF OPTIMIZED PIXEL-PROJECTED REFLECTIONS FOR PLANAR REFLECTORS
11. Multi-GPU (Driver support only on PC Windows)
This unit test shows a typical VR Multi-GPU configuration. One eye is rendered by one GPU and the other eye by the other one.
12. The Forge switching between Vulkan and DirectX 12 during Run-time (Windows PC-only)
This unit test shows how to switch between the Vulkan and DirectX 12 graphics API during run-time.
13. imGUI integration unit test
This unit test shows how the integration of imGui with a wide range of functionality.
14. Order-Independent Transparency unit test
This unit test compares various Order-Indpendent Transparency Methods.
15. Wave Intrinsics unit test
This unit test shows how to use the new wave intrinsics. In the moment it only supports Windows (DirectX 12 / Vulkan 1.1) and Linux with Vulkan 1.1. More platforms will be added.
16. Ray Tracing Unit Test for DXR
Ray Tracing API unit test, showing how to use DXR on Windows only.
17. Ozz Playback Animation
This unit test shows how to playback a clip on a rig.
18. Ozz Playback Blending
This unit test shows how to blend multiple clips and play them back on a rig.
19. Ozz Joint Attachment
This unit test shows how to attach an object to a rig which is being posed by an animation.
20. Ozz Partial Blending
This unit test shows how to blend clips having each only effect a certain portion of joints.
21. Ozz Additive Blending
This unit test shows how to introduce an additive clip onto another clip and play the result on a rig.
22. Ozz Baked Physics
This unit test shows how to use a scene of a physics interaction that has been baked into an animation and play it back on a rig.
23. Ozz Multi Threading
This unit test shows how to animate multiple rigs simultaneously while using multi-threading for the animation updates.
There is an example implementation of the Triangle Visibility Buffer as covered in various conference talks. Here is a blog entry that details the implementation in The Forge.
Releases / Maintenance
Confetti will prepare releases when all the platforms are stable and running and push them to this GitHub repository. Up until a release, development will happen on internal servers. This is to sync up the console, mobile, macOS and PC versions of the source code.
We would appreciate it if you could send us a link in case your product uses The Forge. Here are the ones we received so far:
StarVR One SDK
The Forge is used to build the StarVR One SDK:
The Forge is used as the rendering framework in Torque 3D:
The Forge utilizes the following Open-Source libraries:
- Bullet Physics
- Nothings single file libs
- Vulkan Memory Allocator
- Fluid Studios Memory Manager
- volk Metaloader for Vulkan
- Shader Playground
- DirectX Shader Compiler
- Ozz Animation System