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k+-buffer - Fragment Synchronized k-buffer

A. Vasilakis and I. Fudos
In Proceedings of the 18th meeting of the ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games (I3D 2014). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 143-150.

A large repertoire of multi-fragment effects can be supported from our framework: (left) Rendering boolean operations between a head (model A) and a clipped sphere (model B) surfaces. (right) Detecting collision (highlighted with red color) between a twirl object moving towards a static clipped sphere.


k-buffer facilitates novel approaches to multi-fragment rendering and visualization for developing interactive applications on the GPU. Various alternatives have been proposed to alleviate its memory hazards and to avoid completely or partially the necessity of geometry pre-sorting. However, that came with the burden of excessive memory allocation and depth precision artifacts. We introduce k+-buffer, a fast and accurate framework that simulates the k-buffer behavior by exploiting fragment culling and pixel synchronization. Two GPU-accelerated data structures have been developed: (i) the max-array and (ii) the max-heap. These memory-bounded data structures accurately maintain the k-foremost fragments per pixel in a single geometry pass. The choice of the data structure depends on the size k (application-dependent). Without any software-redesign, the proposed scheme can be adapted to perform as a Z-buffer or an A-buffer capturing a single or all generated fragments, respectively. A memory-friendly strategy is also proposed, extending the proposed pipeline to dynamically lessen the potential wasteful memory allocation. Finally, an extensive experimental evaluation is provided demonstrating the advantages of k+-buffer over all prior k-buffer variants in terms of memory usage, performance cost and image quality.
ACM DL Author-ize servicek+-buffer: fragment synchronized k-buffer
Andreas A. Vasilakis, Ioannis Fudos
I3D '14 Proceedings of the 18th meeting of the ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games, 2014

“k+-buffer: Fragment Synchronized k-buffer” was among the four best papers in I3D 2014 and has been invited for an extended version at the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Graphics (TVCG) journal: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mvives/13387936565/in/set-72157642866815403
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author = {Vasilakis, Andreas A. and Fudos, Ioannis},
title = {K+-buffer: Fragment Synchronized K-buffer},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 18th Meeting of the ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games},
series = {I3D '14},
year = {2014},
isbn = {978-1-4503-2717-6},
location = {San Francisco, California},
pages = {143--150},
numpages = {8},
url = {http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2556700.2556702},
doi = {10.1145/2556700.2556702},
acmid = {2556702},
publisher = {ACM},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
keywords = {GPU, a-buffer, k-buffer, max-heap, multi-fragment effects, pixel synchronization, real-time},


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