VoxelPipe: A Programmable Pipeline for 3D Voxelization

"VoxelPipe: A Programmable Pipeline for 3D Voxelization"
Jacopo Pantaleoni (NVIDIA), in High Performance Graphics 2011, August 2011
Research Area: 3D Graphics
Author(s): Jacopo Pantaleoni (NVIDIA)
Date: August 2011

We present a highly exible and efficient software pipeline for programmable triangle voxelization. The pipeline, entirely written in CUDA, supports both fully conservative and thin voxelizations, multiple boolean, floating point, vector-typed render targets, user-defined vertex and fragment shaders, and a bucketing mode which can be used to generate 3D A-buffers containing the entire list of fragments belonging to each voxel. For maximum efficiency, voxelization is implemented as a sort-middle tile-based rasterizer, while the A-buffer mode, essentially performing 3D binning of triangles over uniform grids, uses a sort-last pipeline. Despite its major flexibility, the performance of our tile-based rasterizer is always competitive with and sometimes more than an order of magnitude superior to that of state-of-the-art binary voxelizers, whereas our bucketing system is up to 4 times faster than previous implementations. In both cases the results have been achieved through the use of careful load-balancing and high performance sorting primitives.