Ashli – Advanced Shading Language Interface [article]

Arcot J. Preetham, Avi Bleiweiss
2003 Eurographics State of the Art Reports  
The support for IEEE floating point computation and the exposure of shading functionality in a standardize API form have made graphics hardware a viable workflow solution to an artist involved in digital content creation (DCC). Nevertheless, there still remains a significant interface void between the abstract shading description an artist is used to and the low level shading constructs the hardware expec ts. We have developed Ashli, an advanced shading language interface tool, with the primary
more » ... motivation to bridge the interface gap fore mentioned. Ashli is developed in the form of a case study. It takes in high level shading languages and descriptions and at the end emits standard graphics hardware shading API (e.g. Microsoft DirectX and OpenGL). Ashli's main contribution is in its seamless cooperation with the DCC graphics application. The RenderMan®‡ Shading Language, Maya® Shading Network and 3ds Max® Standard Materials are the subset of input abstraction we have experimented with to validate our approach. Shading path computation complexity and conformance to hardware resource constraints are owned by Ashli and for the most part made transparent to the artist. A tool like Ashli essentially retains rendered image appearance quality comparable to the level produced by a software renderer, but at a significant higher rate of interaction efficiency. We present Ashli in the context of a stand -alone viewing application framework, depicting shading path computation bound to scene rendering. We demonstrate the application design and results for using Ashli as a shading coprocessor assist.
doi:10.2312/egp.20031027 fatcat:k7zdcq45jzbxfgvbfk4tto4pwi