Molehill GPU Based Snow







I haven’t been able to work on my portfolio for a loooooooong time. One of the reasons is that I want to generate and display a slew of new algorithms and works I’ve worked on in the past 2-3 years. Recently, I’ve been in love with Particle Systems and although Flash’s 2D was great from the beginning, thanks to the Bitmap class, the introduction of 2D GPU accelerated API has hit the ball out of the park. I’ve tested ND2D, Starling, Genome2D etc and I personally adore ND2D alot. It’s sad to see that the project is now obsolete. I’ve noticed that Adobe tries to advertise Starling a lot but Starling lacks the general API usage ease that many other recent APIs have learned to improve. Nevertheless, Starling still packs a punch in performance.

The credit for this snow goes to Tim Soret. This is a very gpu heavy demo and the storm one can really slow your browser down, so be warned. I’ve compiled it using three better known Molehill 2D GPU libraries. Nd2D, Starling and Genome2D. Feel free to add your thoughts/benchmarks in the comments below.

Genome2D: Outstanding performance, tedious API, lacks general purpose texture filtering (I guess this was recently introduced).

Starling: Excellent performance, vast support for GPU accelerated API including extensions, filters for sprites and buttons. However, differentiating between the old Flash API and starling is tedious.

ND2D: Now defunct still packs a punch but has poor support for sprites and buttons etc.

Without further ado:







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  1. Pierre
    06. Dec, 2012 at 4:18 am #

    I’m not sure these are hardware specific differences in the 3 engines, but I noticed in the example using:

    ND2D – The blending-modes / alpha / quality of the sprites are perfect. They don’t show too much pixelation and the smaller experiments runs pretty well. However, the “Storm” example suffers the most. It ran around 2 ~ 8FPS for me.

    Starling – Most (if not all) of the experiments shown some strange alpha glitch, like it resets or hides the sprites. There’s many snow-flakes that suddenly disappear. “Storm” frame-rate was 13~15 (not bad!)

    Genome 2D – This one really felt smooth at first. And really in terms of steadiest frame-rates, this one is a winner. Yes, it still suffers with the “Storm” experiment, but at least it’s head-to-head with Starling (12~15FPS again). The only big issue here is that the texture filter used looks like “nearest-neighbor”, so snow-flakes closest to the camera are heavily pixelated. Maybe that’s an easy switch in the code, but I’m thinking the frame-rate might drop a bit.

    I’ve really enjoyed these demoes though, good time of the year to show them off too! :)

  2. fukhaos
    10. Jan, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    What about sources ?

    • MHAQS
      12. Jan, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      I’m sorry, I cannot post sources for this.

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