Real-Time Rendering Portal

This page is devoted to sites and tools we use on a continuing basis. They're personal picks, and reflect our own biases.

  1. Blogmania - read blogs with one of these: Our own, Humus News, Self Shadow, The Little Grasshopper, Lost in the Triangles, C0DE517E, Beautiful Pixels, Diary of a Graphics Programmer, Mikkelsen and 3D Graphics, Chris Hecker's, Pete Shirley's Graphics Blog, Legalize Adulthood!, Industrial Arithmetic, NVIDIA Developer Zone, Beyond3D, Gamasutra Feature Articles, Meshlab, and GameDev.net. Not active, but still with some worthwhile posts: I Get Your Fail (brilliant), TomF's Tech Blog, realtimecollisiondetection.net, Level of Detail, G Blog, John Ratcliff's Code Suppository, Pandemonium, DirectX Developer Blog, and Pixel, Too Many.... You'll often find yet more blogs linked from these pages.
  2. NVIDIA and AMD (ATI) developer sites - demos, code samples, white papers, etc. For just the cool demos: NVIDIA, AMD/ATI. Other worthwhile code samples at Humus-3D.
  3. Ke-Sen Huang's conference pages has links for papers from all the major computer graphics conferences and workshops. The pages by Tim Rowley are not available directly, but this archive contains them.
  4. SIGGRAPH 2013 links, compiled by Stephen Hill. Also see SIGGRAPH 2012 and SIGGRAPH 2011.
  5. Developer sites and mailing lists: GD Algorithms archives (subscribe), GameDev.net is active, as is OpenGL.org, Ogre Forums, DevMaster.net less so, and FlipCode (closed, but good archives).
  6. Game company publication pages: Black Rock Studio, Bungie, Crytek, DICE, EPIC, Guerrilla Games, Insomniac, Naughty Dog, Sony CE US (and here) and Sony CE Europe, Tri-Ace, Unity, and Valve.
  7. Film company publication pages: Disney and Pixar.
  8. Commercial research lab pages: Autodesk Research, Microsoft Research Asia, and Microsoft Research U.S.
  9. Free (and good) books online
  10. IntroGameDev and AI Wisdom are excellent guides to articles in Gamasutra, Game Developer, and all the major book series (GPU Gems, Game Programming Gems, and ShaderX). IntroGameDev is more comprehensive, but AI Wisdom includes abstracts and other information. The list of all Game Programming Gems is also handy.
  11. Paper Search:
  12. comp.graphics.algorithms FAQ - not maintained, but still full of computational goodness.
  13. Gamasutra's programming page - all sorts of information floats by here.
  14. Geometric Tools - there are many different code snippets and tutorials here to do all sorts of graphics operations, with a focus on computational geometry and intersection methods.
  15. Graphics Gems Repository - contains the source code for many graphics algorithms. Search the contents by category, by author, or by book.
  16. Virtual Terrain Project - a constantly-expanding repository of algorithms about and models of terrain, vegetation, natural phenomena, etc.
  17. Sourceforge (Graphics - note project tree) is the best place to browse for free, open-source software applications.
  18. journal of graphics tools - a small but useful repository, as many of the articles have code associated with them, freely available for download. Sadly, Taylor and Francis, the publisher that currently owns JGT, have declined to continue hosting such content, which is why the link points to the Wayback Machine archive.
  19. 3D Object Intersection Page - where to find articles and code on this topic.
  20. GPGPU.org - all about using the GPU for general purpose computation, the site also has useful info about GPU programming in general in their FAQ, wiki, and throughout the site.
  21. Eric Weisstein's World of Mathematics is an incredible (though often dense) resource for mathematical definitions.
  22. Steam's hardware survey tracks what is currently used by their subscribers. Unity's survey is focussed more on casual gamers' machines.
  23. Tech Power Up has an up-to-date summary of the clock speed, memory size, and other characteristics for every major consumer PC GPU. Tech ARP has similar GPU charts for workstations, PCs, and mobiles. Hardware Info has an amazing GPU comparison app. Notebookcheck also compares mobile GPUs, with text reviews.
  24. GPU Review Sites - these sites often have in-depth analysis of GPU features:
  25. Game Developer source code archive - handy for demo code. Also, the GDC Proceedings archive is quite old (circa 2003) but has a large number of presentations.
  26. ACM TOG software and literature links pages - links to source code, papers, tutorials, etc. The 3D model section is particularly useful.
  27. Game Related - Metacritic or GameRankings.com for meta-ratings, VG Chartz for console and handheld sales figures, gamedevmap for developer locations.
Special bonus site: you need to visit it only once, but Maxima is worth listing here. It is a free version of Macsyma (which is similar to Mathematica and Maple). If you work with equations and do not have $1500 to spare, you need this.

If you know a site that you're simply shocked we don't list here, please let me know.

Resources Hosted Onsite

Beyond the books list and object/object intersections page, the major resources hosted here are:

Computer Programs and Services

Here are some computer programs and services we like, in order of awesomeness.
  • Dropbox - creates a special folder that is shared by all your machines: put files in the folder and these are automatically transferred to the others (including your smart phone). You can also share with others. 2 GB free. Our review here. An alternate: Windows Live Mesh, which sounds even better but we haven't used yet.
  • WinDirStat (Disk Inventory X on the Mac) - shows where all your disk space has gone in an excellent visual fashion (with specular highlights!). Try clicking on everything you see in the display to get more info, delete, etc. Free.
  • Beyond Compare - an excellent file comparison program. It even compares images, also showing their alpha layer. Shareware, but the trial gives 30 days of use. Our review here.
  • cppcheck - super-easy to use and free, it will probably find some coding errors that your compiler didn't notice. More about it here.
  • Visual Assist X - if you use Microsoft's Visual Studio, this add-on makes it considerably more usable. Costs money after the 30 day trial, but worth it for professionals. More info here.
  • MeshLab is a free package that's good for mesh manipulation and translation. It's got rough edges all over - expect crashes and lockups on advanced functionality - but it's got a huge range of functions.
  • Assimp is an open source library that reads a wide variety of 3D model file formats (and writes out a few). It also can perform some mesh clean-up functions.
  • Image viewers: it's a matter of taste and needs. ddsview lets you look at mipmap levels (for DDS) and examine colors and alpha easily (plus source code is available), XnView, IrfanView, and FastStone Image Viewer are popular generic viewers.
  • Screen capture: I've looked far and wide. FastStone Capture is shareware that costs $20, but does a lot. MWSnap is my favorite free one, as it's unobtrusive. However, it's ancient: it doesn't work on a second monitor and tends to stop responding after a few captures.
  • Shader-related: NShader adds syntax highlighting for shaders developed in Visual Studio, or you can get most of the way there in MSVC by "Options | Text Editor | File Extension" and setting extension .fx (.fxh, etc.), choosing Microsoft Visual C++, then clicking "Add". For OpenGL debugging, gDEBugger is currently free, more info here. Other shader-related tools described here.
  • Performance: there are many tools in this area, here's a start.