This class was about non-traditional processing performed on GPUs, similar to GPGPU but for graphics. As we discuss in the “Futures” chapter at the end of our book, this is a particularly interesting direction of research and may well represent the future of rendering. The recent disclosures on Direct3D 11 Compute Shaders and Larrabee make this a particularly hot topic.
The full course notes are available at the course web site.
The talk by Jon Olick from id software was perhaps the most interesting. He discussed a sparse voxel octree data structure which is rendered directly using CUDA. This extends id’s megatexture idea to geometry and may very well find its way into id’s next engine in some form.