Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Fluppin' Drawcalls and Forget How to Use Blender and PureLight

And an end to said fluppin' testing of Drawcalls. I was going to use fluffin' but after a quick check on the interwebz, it turns out "fluffer" has a rude conotation --- I mean, who would of thought it? So flup it is.

No pics. Just the facts, ma'am.

I had a quick test --- read that as far too much time --- ripping the whole drawcall/performance thing to bits and seeing what I could get it down to.

In previously mutterings on the whole performance thang I'd made it clear "why" I'd done things in a certain way previously, older tech, older hardware, a paranoia of >512px.

First off I amalgamated a few of 512 and few 256 non-tiling textures into larger 1024s. And drawcalls fell, fps went up by a bit.

I'd also extended the fixation with 512 to my lightmaps, splitting up meshes into ever smaller pieces to get the texture size down, so next up was to stitch all those meshes back together into larger ones to reduce instancing.

This meant realising that I'd forgot how to use pureLight ... and after a fair bit of jiggery-pokery, remembered that I had to delete the object in PL before replacing it if I'd changed materials or UVs (or it'd import with mixed by UVs), and if the mesh-object in Blender wasn't at 0 0 0 then the object/node it's parented to bloody had better be - even though that thing isn't getting exported - such as price to pay for using Open Source apps for these sorts of things. Oh, and collada doesn't do curvy and thus ase is needed. And ase needs materials and UVs, and collada sorts it's materials from it's UVs so time saver there ... as long as you don't want soft edges...

*note to self: write this stuff down on more than post-it notes sometime*

And finally, I took a look at what renders and what occludes. Previously I'd used zoning to split my corridor-crawler of a level into 3 main areas, and kept to the same principle with scripting, just dropping the zoning (though they might come back, at the moment there's a bit of an issue with portals at certain acute angles and things suddenly not rendering that should).

And so the up shot was this.

(GTS250 - Advanced Lighting @ 1024px without shadows / with shadows)
old drawcall average = 783 / 1076
new drawcall average = 410 /602

And the biggy - busy scene @ 1080p with everything maxed out
old drawcalls / minfps = 2295 / 57
new drawcalls / minfps = 869 / 80

So, as a total average of all my recordings, drawcalls were reduced by a third, and fps increased by a fifth. Which was nice...

In other news I saw ... well, heard some music I liked, and had to approach the guy on spec for commercial licensing (same chap I used on my lightmap video under CC). He appeared reasonable, so we'll see how that goes once this Easter break thing is out of the way.

Also, I redid my weapons with first person hands and reloading animations, and dug out an old (deactivated - don't call teh Fedz!) lever-action rifle for the metal scraping audio. At which point I discovered nearClip and the fact that it defaults to 10cm, which causes all kindsa hassle with camera penetration on aim-down-sight animations. If only I'd realized that before. I set it to 1cm and things are better. Still need to do a couple more bangsticks for my proposed demo, and so video of all of this later.

End of rambling stream of conciousness...

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