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Niagara

This is a Vulkan renderer that is written on stream from scratch - without using any third party code that is Vulkan specific. We are using non-Vulkan-specific third party libraries however.

The goal is to experiment with a few modern Vulkan rendering techniques, such as GPU culling & scene submission, cone culling, automatic occlusion culling, task/mesh shading, and whatever else it is that we will want to experiment with. The code will be written on stream.

Requirements

The renderer is written using Visual Studio and targets Windows desktops with modern Vulkan drivers. You will need Visual Studio 2019 and Vulkan SDK to follow along

Building

To build and run the project, clone this repository using --recursive flag:

git clone https://github.com/zeux/niagara.git --recursive

Make sure you have Vulkan SDK installed; open the Visual Studio project in niagara/src and build it.

To run the program, command line should contain arguments with paths to .obj files; you can use kitten.obj from data/ folder for testing. On lower-end GPUs you might want to change drawCount in niagara.cpp to be a value smaller than 1M.

Stream

The development of this project has streamed on YouTube on weekends in October and November 2018; the project is currently on hold.

Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0JVLUVCkk-l7CWCn3-cdftR0oajugYvd

  1. Setting up instance/device and filling the screen with a solid color: https://youtu.be/BR2my8OE1Sc
  2. Rendering a triangle on screen: https://youtu.be/5eS3gsL_P-c
  3. Cleaning up validation errors and implementing swapchain resize: https://youtu.be/_VU-G5rglnA
  4. Rendering a mesh using shader storage buffers and int8: https://youtu.be/nKCzD5iK71M
  5. Rendering a mesh using NVidia RTX mesh shading pipeline: https://youtu.be/gbeOKMjmQ-g
  6. Optimizing GPU time by using device-local memory and parallelizing mesh shader: https://youtu.be/ayKoqK3kQ9c
  7. Using descriptor update templates and parsing SPIRV to extract reflection data: https://youtu.be/3Py4GlWAicY
  8. Cluster cone culling using task shaders and subgroup ops: https://youtu.be/KckRq7Rm3Mw
  9. Tuning mesh shading pipeline for performance: https://youtu.be/snZkA4D_qjU
  10. Depth buffer, perspective projection, 3D transforms and multi draw indirect: https://youtu.be/y4WOsAaXLh0
  11. Multiple meshes and GPU frustum culling: https://youtu.be/NGGzk4Fi2iU
  12. Draw call compaction using KHR_draw_indirect_count and LOD support: https://youtu.be/IYRgDcnJJ2I
  13. Depth pyramid construction and extending SPIRV reflection parser: https://youtu.be/YCteLdYdZWQ
  14. Automatic occlusion culling: https://youtu.be/Fj1E1A4CPCM
  15. Vulkan 1.2 and GPU buffer pointers: https://youtu.be/78tVIA6nRQg

Issues

During the streams we find various bugs in parts of the Vulkan stack and report them; bugs marked with ✔️ have been fixed.

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A Vulkan renderer written from scratch on stream

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