Rendering Point Clouds with Compute Shaders and Vertex Order Optimization

Information

  • Publication Type: Miscellaneous Publication
  • Workgroup(s)/Project(s):
  • Date: 2021
  • Open Access: yes
  • Booktitle: techreport
  • Event: techreport
  • Keywords: point-based rendering, compute shader, real-time rendering

Abstract

While commodity GPUs provide a continuously growing range of features and sophisticated methods for accelerating compute jobs, many state-of-the-art solutions for point cloud rendering still rely on the provided point primitives (GL_POINTS, POINTLIST, ...) of graphics APIs for image synthesis. In this paper, we present several compute-based point cloud rendering approaches that outperform the hardware pipeline by up to an order of magnitude and achieve significantly better frame times than previous compute-based methods. Beyond basic closest-point rendering, we also introduce a fast, high-quality variant to reduce aliasing. We present and evaluate several variants of our proposed methods with different flavors of optimization, in order to ensure their applicability and achieve optimal performance on a range of platforms and architectures with varying support for novel GPU hardware features. During our experiments, the observed peak performance was reached rendering 796 million points (12.7GB) at rates of 62 to 64 frames per second (50 billion points per second, 802GB/s) on an RTX 3090 without the use of level-of-detail structures.

We further introduce an optimized vertex order for point clouds to boost the efficiency of GL_POINTS by a factor of 5x in cases where hardware rendering is compulsory. We compare different orderings and show that Morton sorted buffers are faster for some viewpoints, while shuffled vertex buffers are faster in others. In contrast, combining both approaches by first sorting according to Morton-code and shuffling the resulting sequence in batches of 128 points leads to a vertex buffer layout with high rendering performance and low sensitivity to viewpoint changes.

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Additional files

paper: arxiv techreport paper: arxiv techreport

Weblinks

BibTeX

@misc{SCHUETZ-2021-PCC,
  title =      "Rendering Point Clouds with Compute Shaders and Vertex Order
               Optimization",
  author =     "Markus Sch\"{u}tz and Bernhard Kerbl and Michael Wimmer",
  year =       "2021",
  abstract =   "While commodity GPUs provide a continuously growing range of
               features and sophisticated methods for accelerating compute
               jobs, many state-of-the-art solutions for point cloud
               rendering still rely on the provided point primitives
               (GL_POINTS, POINTLIST, ...) of graphics APIs for image
               synthesis. In this paper, we present several compute-based
               point cloud rendering approaches that outperform the
               hardware pipeline by up to an order of magnitude and achieve
               significantly better frame times than previous compute-based
               methods. Beyond basic closest-point rendering, we also
               introduce a fast, high-quality variant to reduce aliasing.
               We present and evaluate several variants of our proposed
               methods with different flavors of optimization, in order to
               ensure their applicability and achieve optimal performance
               on a range of platforms and architectures with varying
               support for novel GPU hardware features. During our
               experiments, the observed peak performance was reached
               rendering 796 million points (12.7GB) at rates of 62 to 64
               frames per second (50 billion points per second, 802GB/s) on
               an RTX 3090 without the use of level-of-detail structures. 
               We further introduce an optimized vertex order for point
               clouds to boost the efficiency of GL_POINTS by a factor of
               5x in cases where hardware rendering is compulsory. We
               compare different orderings and show that Morton sorted
               buffers are faster for some viewpoints, while shuffled
               vertex buffers are faster in others. In contrast, combining
               both approaches by first sorting according to Morton-code
               and shuffling the resulting sequence in batches of 128
               points leads to a vertex buffer layout with high rendering
               performance and low sensitivity to viewpoint changes.  ",
  month =      apr,
  booktitle =  "techreport",
  event =      "techreport",
  keywords =   "point-based rendering, compute shader, real-time rendering",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2021/SCHUETZ-2021-PCC/",
}