Sunday, 8 December 2013

Sunday Shaderthon

Revelations Chapter One

Spent a little time today on a different tact from the usual chase of fewer polygons and draw calls, and made my home on the Ultrabook I often use when I am about and out. My latest effort did quite well at 15 fps fully loaded and over 40 fps on silent running, and together with some anecdotal evidence from one of our beta testers, it occurs that perhaps there is gain to be had by chopping down the shaders after all (as right now they are consuming over 85% of my Ultrabook processes). I tried this before but tested on my monster mid range card and so no benefit. I started to suspect I WOULD have seen a benefit had I tried it on my mobile computer!

The Work

Therefore, my work for Sunday evening will be to trim the shaders directly on the Ultrabook and see what gains are to be had. If they report well, then it is very likely this solution will work for many users in the same boat as a few respected testers who have reported almost no performance improvement since I started my antics. Hopefully this is the key that unlocks that door to happiness.

Signing Off

I am on the road over the next few days so my blogs may come from strange places. My mission will be to continue working on performance, through better use of draw calls, polygons and now shader code. I know it can seem like nothing new is being done, but I can assure you, and I think I have a few supporters who will agree from long experience, that the absence of 'new things' in this case is a very good thing.  Keeping Lee on performance until we crack the case shows that we've learned something from products of the past and brave enough to stick to our gun.


  1. Stick with it lee,we will all benefit in the end i'me sure.

  2. I noticed while playing Call of Duty Ghosts on Playstation 4 that all shadows have like 3 different versions of them. 3 different qualities depending on your distance from them. Is this how they achieve such high performance while having decent shadows?

    1. That's the result of a cascading shadow map, what Lee already uses.

  3. I would have to agree about shaders. Every little helps. It's always good to have an option :) I was playing about adding specular and normal maps to some of the old model packs, and noticed a fair bit of chugging as I moved about a fairly simple scene, which would have run quite well with the old models.

  4. I told you much earlier on in development that weaker cards are extremely bogged down by shaders. Should've listened, shouldn't you? ;)

  5. The end result is your/our goal! Thanks for sharing Lee!

  6. This could also serve as a potential basis of the final version of FPS Creator Reloaded, since you saved all that performance, though again, it does not need to look quite this good. Thank you for your time.