Memory-Efficient Order-Independent Transparency with Dynamic Fragment Buffer

Marilena Maule (UFRGS), Rafael Torchelsen (UFFS), Rui Bastos (NVIDIA), João L. D. Comba (UFRGS)
InSIBGRAPI Conference on Graphics Patterns and Images, 2012, Brazil

Order-independent transparency (OIT) rendering is computationally intensive due to required sorting and sufficient memory to store fragments before sorting. We present Dynamic Fragment Buffer, a revamped two-pass OIT rendering technique, which performs correct blending of a large number of transparent layers at interactive frame rates. Our approach self-adjusts memory allocation to handle a variable number of fragments per pixel without wasting memory. In this paper we perform a detailed analysis of several design decisions which lead to this technique. We present a collection of experiments that illustrate the advantages of our technique with respect to others OIT algorithms in the literature.

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