DirectX 12 “Won’t Have Any Effect” on Umbra’s Occlusion Culling Tech, “Faster CPUs Help”

Umbra Software’s techniques aren’t directly influenced by DirectX 12 (of course).

Posted By | On 14th, Apr. 2014 Under News


Umbra Software

If you didn’t know already, Umbra Software is a middleware company that specializes in providing occlusion culling solutions for video game developers. Their solutions have been utilized to speed up rendering for scenes in video games, with occlusion culling deciding which objects to render based on their visibility to the player. The company was present at this year’s GDC and they explained how Umbra 3 will be utilized in CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, along with its use in Oculus Rift for averaging 120 FPS easily. Interested readers can click here to know more.

We followed up with Umbra regarding DirectX 12 and how it would help the middleware’s occlusion techniques. “We haven’t really looked at DX12, but no, it won’t have any effect on our tech. Faster CPU’s help,” an Umbra representative said to GamingBolt.

That seems about in line with developer reactions to Stardock CEO’s Brad Wardell article about DirectX 12 effectively doubling Xbox One GPU speed (the API will be releasing next year for both the PC and the console). DirectX has always served as more of a communication interface between the hardware and game, thus allowing for increased efficiency in performance rather than physically changing the CPU/GPU speed in any way. As it stands, faster hardware indeed does help but DirectX 12 is helping to unlock the potential that said hardware brings. It is interesting to note that it won’t have any effect on techniques such as Umbra’s occlusion culling though but that’s a given.

We’re still very interested to see what Umbra 3 is capable of. If The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has told us anything till now, it’s that we’ve barely scratched the surface of what Umbra Software’s occlusion culling techniques are capable of. What are your thoughts on DirectX 12 having no effect on the tech? And how do you feel about Umbra in general? Let us know in the comments.


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  • kevin

    Never heard of these guys , then again I don’t pay attention to a lot of crap posted on the internet .

  • Leonardo Pimenta Michilotti

    “We haven’t really looked at DX12″….that’s enough for me.

    • Sticky Notes

      Technically they don’t have to. DX12 communicates with a GPU to draw graphics, Occlusion culling is the art of not drawing objects. And obviously, whatever method they use to calculate visibility of objects doesn’t use D3D, but is sentitive to CPU power.

    • Mynd

      Yeah occlusion culling helps determine what you render not how you render. It has nothing to do with the GPU. Well done Gaming Bolt, you will be asking the guys who record sound effects for games what impact DX12 has on their recording booths next.

    • cozomel

      What!? Occlusion culling has everything to do with graphics and the GPU. You obviously dont know what youre talking about.

    • mynd

      Ah, nah, it doesn’t, its in the same league as frustum culling.Culling.=to remove. The idea is tor remove stuff you don’t need to draw, in this case because it hiding behind something (occlusion), or out of view (frustum). This is stuff you DON’T want to send to the GPU. For example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potentially_visible_set is a form of OC.

    • Vious

      then if that’s the case xbox is running 1.75Ghz

    • cozomel

      Man, you fanboys just wanna believe.

    • jent

      I agree Coz. You fanboys just wanna believe they are right without information. The Dev quoted in the article states something he cannot know yet you accept it as fact. He has not investigated about dx12 yet makes this statement. This article seems to be just click bait.

    • cozomel

      Im pretty sure, he knows what he’s saying. And you just proved my point. You just wanna believe, whatever you believe. MS, themselves said that DX12 is using the same lower level API that the X1 is already using. Im sure he knows what a closer to the metal DX API would look like. Its not that hard to figure out, MS is just late to the party doing this.

    • Guest

      “Im pretty sure, he knows what he’s saying.” referring to the dev admitting he has no real knowledge of DX12.

      Yea, that’s a legit assumption.

    • You are flat out wrong

      Don’t worry, I’m sure it’ll still make a difference. One day.

      Xbox One: Just Wait.

  • Johnny

    So basically they haven’t looked at so I don’t get the story here or is it about clicks and flame wars?

  • jacksjus

    If DX12 is really capable of changing the performance of the x1 particularly in the graphics department, wouldn’t they release it for the X1 immediately? Why wait 2 years for the full release for PCs?

    I just can’t fathom MS allowing the xompetition to pull ahead if they in fact could help it.

    • cozomel

      Because its already using it now, DX12 uses the same D3D11.x API used in the X1 right now.

    • jacksjus

      That’s sort of what I was getting at. If it were so magical they would have moved it forward immediately as opposed to dropping the price and losing profit.

    • (copy/paste from my other comment)

      MS isn’t slowing down the development of their own API solely so that Sony can attempt to take more jabs at them.

      Come on man, you know why MS hasn’t released DX12 yet – because it isn’t ready yet. Movies aren’t on BluRay as soon as they’re announced; games aren’t released as soon as they’re announced; phones aren’t on the market as soon as they’re announced – that’s how announcements work.

    • cozomel

      DX12 is mad late to the party! Hence, why AMD decided to bring out Mantle. And the main rendering tech for DX12 already exists in the X1.

    • And being the last one to the party means you show up with all the latest goodies.

      DX12 will blow Mantle out of the water.

    • cozomel

      Right, right, you keep believing all that bullsh*t, meanwhile in the real world.

    • TSD

      He’s right however.

    • jent

      Retailers are dropping the price. They make money when people buy games so they can afford to take a hit on the console.

    • jacksjus

      And for the bundle deals that are cheaper than the original MSRP?

    • jent

      Retailers. As far as I’ve heard, Microsoft has not taken a hit.

    • jacksjus

      Could be fair point.

    • jacksjus

      That’s a very generous hit those retailers took for Titan Fall.

    • Guest

      You don’t make profit on something you sell to each person one time every 5-7 years. You make money on the software licensing and royalties. Why do you think M$ is in the SOFTWARE side of things and not hardware?

    • TSD

      Except Microsoft isn’t dropping the price but retailers are.

    • cozomel

      But the retailers are dropping the price to try and sell it. And MS gave away its biggest ace card (TF) for free. And who’s right about what?

    • TSD

      You don’t understand business. Titanfall is considered the best game of the new generation (so far) and a lot of people want it. So Microsoft decided to be nice with people and had Titanfall bundle.

    • Xtreme Derp

      Not exactly true, Xbox One’s API has some of the DX12 improvements but not all of them.

      Either way it won’t make a big difference except for CPU limited Xbox games.

    • cozomel

      True, i know that DX12 will have some new features and improvements. But these fool dont get that alot of the main improvements are already on the Xbone’s API right now. Btw, https://twitter.com/cozomel74/status/456096963080224768

    • TSD

      However, the Xbox One is said to be the biggest beneficiary of DirectX 12.

    • cozomel

      No its not, the PC is. where did you here that? MisterX’s blog?

    • TSD

      This guy, Brad Wardell, who I believe is developing a game on the Xbox One is using this software. If he is to know who’s going to take advantage of the software the most, obviously it’s a developer.

    • cozomel

      X1 is not the biggest beneficiary of DX12, the PC is, get your facts straight, cuz so far you’ve been wrong about everything you’ve responded to me about. And just so you know, Brad Wardell also said that the PS4 is more powerful.

    • TSD

      First the definition of beneficiary: someone or something that makes the best of something. Essentially that PC will get more power too but the reason the X1 is the biggest beneficiary because it’ll end the stupid resolution wars between fanboys. Second, did I say anything about the X1 being more powerful than the PS4. No I didn’t. I didn’t even mention the PS4 at all. I’m fully aware of the X1’s limitations when compared to the PS4. So instead of telling me to get my facts straight, you should take some lessons in reading.

    • Xtreme Derp

      I wonder how many blogs are going to make an article where he admits PS4’s hardware is substantially more powerful?

    • cozomel

      None.

    • If cars will eventually run solely on electricity, why don’t we all already have Teslas?

    • jacksjus

      What and overlook all of that oil money? No chance.

    • I’m pretty sure MS isn’t slowing down the development of their own API solely so that Sony can attempt to take more jabs at them.

      Come on man, you know why MS hasn’t released DX12 yet – because it isn’t ready yet. Movies aren’t on BluRay as soon as they’re announced; games aren’t released as soon as they’re announced; phones aren’t on the market as soon as they’re announced – that’s how announcements work.

    • Xtreme Derp

      Factual PS4 Hardware Advantages: +6 CUs, +560 GFlops (44% greater), +16 ROPs, +6 ACEs/CQs, better GPGPU support, better performing CPU, and faster unified memory. PS4 OS may also have less overhead or reserves.

      Both Sony and MS have world class coders that will extract every bit of performance out of their consoles with their drivers/APIs/SDKs. The difference is PS4 simply has more powerful hardware to work with, so it will always stay ahead in graphics performance.

      The bottom line is even if Xbox had a far more powerful CPU and 10000GB of 10000 GB/s memory, it’s ability to render graphics is STILL limited by the weaker GPU. There’s no getting around the weaker GPU, there’s no free lunch.

      If they’re both running at the same resolution the Xbox version will have lower framerate and/or visual effects, or the PS4 hardware isn’t being pushed.

      PS4 will have better performing games for the entire generation as it has more powerful hardware, you can’t overcome a hardware gap with better drivers/SDKs. Any game running on Xbox One can be run with better framerate/resolution/visual effects on PS4.

      Xbox has memory size and bandwidth bottlenecks, weak GPU and GPGPU, only 16 ROPs, and OS virtualization overhead that all degrade gaming performance. Take your pick.

    • TSD

      Not everyone has wall sockets outside their homes, and I doubt they want to leave their door wide open during the night for a burglar to waltz in and steal everything.

    • Running wires really isn’t that hard. And even then, that’s not my point.

    • TSD

      Yeah I get your point on the top, but still it can be inconvenient for people to do that. I used to live in a town house were the houses were neck and neck. Not a crack of space between them and the only outlet that is outside my house is in my back patio. So how am I suppose to get around that problem.

    • Carlos

      It’s still in development because Direct x isn’t only in the Xbox, it’s also on pc’s tablets and phones

    • jacksjus

      You missed the point of what I said. I am aware of that. Smh!

    • Carlos

      No you missed the point, read the first four words. Everything else is extra info to supplement it.

    • jacksjus

      How are you arguing with me over what I said? I know what I said, you just haven’t figured it out yet. Just give up.

    • Carlos

      I never questioned you knowing what you said. However you said I missed your point which I didn’t. I had told you that DX12 is not out because it’s still i’m development but maybe you like to comment before reading. Your wouldn’t have posted your first comment if you had read the whole article.

    • jacksjus

      Ok let me help. I said if this upgrade is truly the be all to save this system, then why aren’t they expediting it’s release for the X1 sooner than 18 months from now? I understand what they are saying as far as why, but I think it’s all bullshit. In fact, I’m not particularly speaking about the article I’m speaking about all of these reports of its impact yet an unrealistic release date. Since you read so much maybe you remember they added the X1 to the DirectX 12 advertisement the day before GDC or which ever it event that was. They probably shouldn’t have said anything about it coming to the X1 at this time, because the release window is too far out. This performance gap will crush them going through possibly another 18 months with bad press while losing in the market. All in all I believe that DX12 won’t do for the X1 what the consumers think it will. It’s not going to suddenly make the bad press from PS4 comparisons just go away.

    • Charles J. Stamps

      because the x box one runs a modified version of windows 8 so basically they have to develop for both at the same time they can’t just rush one without the other it would break the whole platform that’s why it’s still in development

    • HisDivineOrder

      The pieces they’re talking about now–low level access–are already available to Xbox One.

      The rest of the improvements they only spoke of in hushed whisper and innuendo are not done yet, so they couldn’t be implemented.

    • Guest

      At GDC it was stated that at least 15 DX12 SDKs were already in the wild. Granted they would be late alpha/early beta, but they’ve been out since just after the start of year I’d guess.

  • brianc6234

    DX12 isn’t going to help much to make Xbox One games run better. It’s just a different system than they already use now. It isn’t magic that will suddenly make games run at 1080p and 60 fps and run better than PS4 games.

    • HisDivineOrder

      Most of what DX12 is already in Xbox One. Microsoft took DirectX 11.x they were already using in Xbox One as the base for it. That’s the low level architecture they used for Xbox One and then started adding to it.

      That’s what they showed, too. The other things they add aren’t going to be huge things to Xbox One because it won’t be able to be upgraded to the newer hardware that’ll support the higher end pieces of DirectX 12 that are supposedly coming.

      Seems like they should have made the new DirectX to coincide with the new Xbox, not delay it by a couple of years and essentially keep it never as high end as the DirectX spec allows.

    • TSD

      You kind of missed the most important feature of DirectX 12. DirectX 11 puts a lot of strain on one core while DirectX 12 splits up the work so it can run more efficiently.

  • Abba Okoro

    Ah more damage control for ponies

    • ImonadrugcalledCharlieSheen

      Maybe you should take your own advice, xbone is done son, DX12 wont help it, Deal With It.

    • Stephen Perry

      I’ve been seeing that said time and time again, yet the hardware, accessories, and games are still selling at profitable levels for all parties involved.

    • Xtreme Derp

      Xbox One is probably going to lose MS lots of money.

    • Stephen Perry

      All console makers are losing money at the moment. PS4 and Wii U are in the same boat for Sony and Nintendo respectively. The only difference is Microsoft can turn a profit year over year while Sony continues to lose money despite a positive net income in 2013 that didn’t even offset the amount of cash they lost the same year. At the end of the day, money does the talking.

    • Xtreme Derp

      MS shareholders don’t like throwing more money into the Xbox pit, it’s already lost them billions and Xbox One will cause further losses.

    • TSD

      Then you should look at the Surface tablet. Microsoft lost I believe nearly $1 billion on it and well that been here for less than two years. The Xbox on the other hand lost $3 billion over 10 years. Funny thing is that isn’t even Steve Ballmer’s (ex-CEO of Microsoft) yearly salary. That why I like the new guy better. He’s a bit more frugal, only making 1.2 million a year.

    • Xtreme Derp

      Surface, Windows Phones, Bing and other online services, and Xbox have all been colossal money losers. MS typically only makes money on Office, Windows, and server products.

    • TSD

      Don’t forget the PS3 when it first launched. Sony was losing about $200 per unit they sold. Then when the slim came out, they again lost $20 per unit.

    • Stephen Perry

      But until it does, that argument is pure speculation.

    • Xtreme Derp

      Doesn’t take a financial genius imo. They spent billions on r&d, marketing, exclusive deals, manufacturing, etc. and sales have flattened even after price drops and giving away their most hyped game for free in bundles.

      The return on investment is almost certainly in the negative considering that.

    • Stephen Perry

      Until you or I can find a hard link of evidence to a negative ROI, there’s no point in speculating.

    • Abba Okoro

      It’s done yet selling 5 million consoles in it’s first 6 months of life LOL #fanboys

      But meanwhile in wallstreet ….

      http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2014/04/16/final-fantasy-comes-to-an-end-for-sony/

  • You are flat out wrong

    Bu bu bu but Reason Freeman and misterxmedia told me!!!! ;_;

  • ImonadrugcalledCharlieSheen

    There you have it kids, like I’ve been saying all along DX12 wont help and certainly wont save the xbone in anyway, maybe it will be beneficial for PC but the xbone is a dead duck, this proves it.

  • Xtreme Derp

    Factual PS4 Hardware Advantages: +6 CUs, +560 GFlops (44% greater), +16 ROPs, +6 ACEs/CQs, better GPGPU support, better performing CPU, and faster unified memory. PS4 OS may also have less overhead or reserves.

    Both Sony and MS have world class coders that will extract every bit of performance out of their consoles with their drivers/APIs/SDKs. The difference is PS4 simply has more powerful hardware to work with, so it will always stay ahead in graphics performance.

    The bottom line is even if Xbox had a far more powerful CPU and 10000GB of 10000 GB/s memory, it’s ability to render graphics is STILL limited by the weaker GPU. There’s no getting around the weaker GPU, there’s no free lunch.

    If they’re both running at the same resolution the Xbox version will have lower framerate and/or visual effects, or the PS4 hardware isn’t being pushed.

    PS4 will have better performing games for the entire generation as it has more powerful hardware, you can’t overcome a hardware gap with better drivers/SDKs. Any game running on Xbox One can be run with better framerate/resolution/visual effects on PS4.

    Xbox has memory size and bandwidth bottlenecks, weak GPU and GPGPU, only 16 ROPs, and OS virtualization overhead that all degrade gaming performance. Take your pick.,


 

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