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: Most bloggers (and non-bloggers) also have a Twitter feed - find and follow them. Try out these blogs with one of these: Our own, Humus News, Lost in the Triangles, Casual Effects, Self Shadow, C0DE517E, Bart Wronski, Diary of a Graphics Programmer, TomF's Tech Blog, DirectX Developer Blog, Pete Shirley's Graphics Blog, Industrial Arithmetic, the ryg blog, Gamasutra News, and GameDev.net. Not active, but still with some worthwhile posts: I Get Your Fail (brilliant), Mikkelsen and 3D Graphics, The Little Grasshopper, Beautiful Pixels, Legalize Adulthood!, Chris Hecker's, realtimecollisiondetection.net, Meshlab, NVIDIA Developer Zone, Beyond3D, G Blog, Pandemonium, and Pixel, Too Many.... You'll often find yet more blogs linked from these pages.
  2. NVIDIA, AMD (ATI demos), and Intel graphics developer sites - demos, code samples, white papers, etc. 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 2015 links, compiled by Stephen Hill. Also see link pages for SIGGRAPH 2014, SIGGRAPH 2013, SIGGRAPH 2012 and SIGGRAPH 2011.
  5. Advances in Real-Time Rendering in 3D Graphics and Games - the course materials from SIGGRAPH 2010 on.
  6. The Journal of Computer Graphics Techniques - open access (free to all) and many articles include code samples.
  7. Developer sites and mailing lists: GameDev.net is active, as is OpenGL.org, Ogre Forums, DevMaster.net less so, GD Algorithms archives dying out but searchable (subscribe), and FlipCode (old, closed, but some good things in the archives).
  8. Game company publication pages: alphabetically, and a few quite dated, but here goes. Black Rock Studio, Crytek, Guerrilla Games, Naughty Dog, Sony Computer Entertainment America and Sony CE Europe, Tri-Ace, Unity, and Valve.
  9. Film company publication pages: Disney and Pixar.
  10. Commercial research lab pages: Autodesk Research, Microsoft Research Asia, and Microsoft Research U.S.
  11. Free (and good) books online
  12. Interactive 3D Graphics (intro to theory and practice) and Intro to Parallel Programming (intro to CUDA GPU programming) are worthwhile free massive open online courses.
  13. ACM TOG's Software Tools and Resources page has much about both graphics software and where to get 3D models, BRDF data, etc.
  14. Graphics and Game Gems Database lets you search the various popular interactive graphics series, browse each book's article titles, and get bibtex entries. IntroGameDev and AI Wisdom are similar sites. They leave out a few newer (and older) books, but have the advantage of being able to browse by category.
  15. APIs:
  16. Paper Search:
  17. Education:
  18. Gameconfs - game-related conferences.
  19. 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.
  20. Graphics Gems Repository - contains the source code for many graphics algorithms. Search the contents by category, by author, or by book.
  21. Virtual Terrain Project - a constantly-expanding repository of algorithms about and models of terrain, vegetation, natural phenomena, etc.
  22. Github and SourceForge are popular places to browse for free, open-source software applications.
  23. 3D Object Intersection Page - where to find articles and code on this topic.
  24. comp.graphics.algorithms FAQ - ancient, not maintained, but still full of computational goodness.
  25. Gamasutra's programming page - with the death of "Game Developer", no new content here, but some great old articles are available.
  26. GPGPU.org - all about using the GPU for general purpose computation.
  27. Eric Weisstein's World of Mathematics is an incredible (though often dense) resource for mathematical definitions.
  28. Steam's hardware survey tracks what is currently used by their subscribers.
  29. 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 mobile devices. Hardware Info has an amazing GPU comparison app. Notebookcheck also compares mobile GPUs, with text reviews.
  30. ACM TOG's Research Resources page much of the same information as here, but with a wider scope.
  31. GPU Review Sites - these sites often have in-depth analysis of GPU features:
  32. Game Related - Metacritic or GameRankings.com for meta-ratings, VG Chartz for console and handheld sales figures, gamedevmap for developer locations.
  33. Real Artifacts - in no way critical, but I find myself looking for this link every few months so I'm putting it here for me.
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 rough order of awesomeness.
  • Dropbox - you should know this already, but just in case: creates a special folder that is shared by all your machines. You can also share with others privately or publicly.
  • iPad: my only recommendation is GoodReader - lets you stuff and view documents onto your iPad, syncs nicely with Dropbox.
  • Ninite - installing stuff on a new PC? Save yourself a few hours by just checking off the things you want and getting one program to install them all, without prompts. Also a nice site for finding programs to try out.
  • 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.
  • Screen capture: I've looked far and wide. FastStone Capture is shareware that costs $20, but does a lot, including annotation. Greenshot is my favorite free one.
  • Image viewers: it's a matter of taste and needs. IrfanView, XnView, and FastStone Image Viewer are popular generic viewers. ddsview lets you look at mipmap levels (for DDS) and examine colors and alpha easily (plus source code is available).
  • Everything finds files and folders instantly.
  • Glary Utilities, free for home use, has worthwhile cleanup tools and other utilities.
  • 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.