Blender 4.0 Hopes To At Least Have A Non-Optimized Vulkan Implementation

Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 13 February 2023 at 06:54 AM EST. Add A Comment
The latest Blender Eevee and Viewport module meeting minutes have just been posted and outline the latest thinking around Vulkan API support from the perspective of these modules.

Today's Eevee/Viewport Module Meeting featured some remarks around Blender 4.0 planning and in particular on the Vulkan front. Per prior guidance, Blender 4.0 could debut around August.

The meeting notes indicated that Blender 4.0 could have initial Vulkan support ready but not necessarily an optimized implementation:
Vulkan is important for AMD and Intel and should still be part of the planning. At Blender HQ there is an idea to do the major part of the development this year. This also depends on the development resources we can get.

- Prioritise on a not optimized implementation.

- Optimizations could than delayed to after Blender 4.0 targets are done. And would give the vendors more time to get into the project as well.

- Current development is used to understand the optimal requirements for the Vulkan back-end. After understanding a design and implementation can be made. An example for this would be to improve command synchronizations.

Over the past year there has been preliminary work getting underway on Vulkan but it's still in the early stages. Blender currently has a "WITH_VULKAN_BACKEND" build-time option for gating the experimental code.

As for the latest Vulkan work from the Eeevee/Viewport perspective, the meeting notes sum up the latest changes as:
Vulkan backend

- Vulkan: Use guardedalloc for driver allocations
- Equalize API of readback for IBO/VBO and SSBOs.
- Vulkan Compute shaders
* Direct dispatching of compute tasks
* Initial SSBO, VBO buffers working.
* Current DEVICE_ONLY usage requires host visibility during test cases. My proposal would be to have a separate usage flag for host visibility as this should be treaded as an exception. This way back-end can still do further optimizations when DEVICE_ONLY is used. Metal back-end currently doesn’t support DEVICE_ONLY with host visibility.

The initial compute shaders support for Vulkan is a bit one and currently pending review.


See the meeting notes for the latest Blender Eevee/Viewport happenings.
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