Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Stingray Renderer Walkthrough

Stingray Renderer Walkthrough


To simplify knowledge transferring inside the Autodesk development teams and in an attempt to improve my writing skills I’ve decided to do a walkthrough of the Stingray rendering architecture. The idea is to do this as a series of blog posts over the coming weeks starting from the low-level aspects of the renderer chewing my way up to more high-level concepts as I go.

I’ve covered some of these topics before in various presentations over the years but those have been more focused on how our data driven aspects of the renderer works and less on the core architecture behind it. This is an attempt to do a more complete walk-through of the entire rendering architecture.

When I started thinking about this it felt like an almost impossible undertaking considering how much slower I am at expressing myself in text than in code, but after spending a couple of days going through the entire stingray code base doing some spring cleaning it felt a bit more manageable so I’ve now decided to give it a try.

(Note: this has nothing at all to do with me feeling the pressure from Niklas Frykholm who’s currently doing a complete walk-through of the entire Stingray engine code base (well everything except rendering) as a series of youtube videos [1]. Not at all… I feel no pressure, no guilt, nothing… I promise… Thanks Niklas for pushing me!)


Below is some kind of outline of what I intend to cover and in what order, I might swap things around as I go if I discover it makes more sense. This post will work as an index and I will link to the posts as they come online.

  1. Overview
  2. Resources & Resource Contexts
  3. Render Contexts
  4. Sorting
  5. RenderDevice
  6. RenderInterface
  7. Data-driven rendering
  8. Stingray-renderer & Mini-renderer
  9. Shaders & Materials


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