Michael Isard, Mark Shand, and Alan Heirich
Recently several distributed rendering systems have been developed which exploit a cluster of commodity computers by connecting host graphics cards over a fast network to form a compositing pipeline. This paper introduces a new algorithm which takes advantage of the programmable compositing operators in these systems to improve the performance of rendering multiple shadow-maps, for example to produce approximate soft shadows. With an nVidia GeForce4 Ti graphics card the new algorithm reduces the number of required render nodes by nearly a factor of four compared with a naive approach. We show results that yield interactive-speed rendering of 32 shadows on a 9-node Sepia2a distributed rendering cluster.
In Parallel Computing
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.
Copyright © 2002 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than ACM must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Request permissions from Publications Dept, ACM Inc., fax +1 (212) 869-0481, or firstname.lastname@example.org. The definitive version of this paper can be found at ACM’s Digital Library –http://www.acm.org/dl/.