NVIDIA Developer Events at GDC 2012

At GDC 2012, NVIDIA delivered a broad selection of presentations designed to let you, the developer, succeed in both the PC and mobile space. Below is a complete list of the presentations we offered, along with all videos and downloadable presentations that we could make available.

Want to watch Wednesday and Friday's theater presentations without downloading? Visit our YouTube "NVIDIA @ GDC 2012" Channel to see all our videos!

Bonus! Here is a short video of our popular fracture demo shown at GDC. This is a demonstration of dynamic, real-time destruction using GPU Rigid Bodies (GRB). We intend to offer this as a downloadable demo in the near future.

Events By Day

Monday March 5th

These presentations are part of the Advanced Visual Effects with Direct3D Tutorials . They are being held in Room 3007. Attendance at this event requires an All Access Pass or a Summits & Tutorials Pass.

Don't Throw it All Away – Managing Buffers Efficiently

2:50pm -3:20pm

John McDonald, NVIDIA

In this session, John will explore how improper buffer management can lead to serious performance degradation without any of the usual smoking guns. Attendees will learn how to recognize these problems, and how to fix them. Additionally, a new class of Buffers will be introduced. Basic knowledge of Direct3D is suggested

Presentation (PDF)

Presentation (PPTX)

More Realistic Real-Time: Film-like Post-Processing and Rendering Techniques

3:30pm - 4:15pm

Timothy Lottes, NVIDIA

Timothy will present optimized real-time rendering methods, including post processing and anti-aliasing, which game developers can use to provide a more film-like experience to the player. This talk is geared towards both the programmer with a basic knowledge of Direct3D, and the technical artist who would like to gain a better understanding what is possible on current graphics hardware.

My Tessellation has Cracks! (and solutions to other common tessellation problems)

5:50pm - 6:20pm

Bryan Dudash, NVIDIA

Attendees will learn about common issues that arise when using D3D11 dynamic tessellation with displacement maps. They will also learn techniques to solve these issues. Attendees should have basic knowledge of the hardware graphics pipeline and D3D11 Tessellation high level design.

Presentation (PDF)

Presentation (PPTX)

Tuesday, March 6th

As part of the "Physics for Game Programmers" tutorial session, Richard Tonge will present a lecture on "Solving Rigid Body Contacts." An All Access Pass or a Tutorial Pass is required to attend this session.

Solving Rigid Body Contacts

11:00am -12:00pm

Room 3022, West Hall

Richard Tonge , NVIDIA

This tutorial continues the tradition of the "Physics for Programmers" tutorial by bringing together some of the best presenters in gaming physics. Over the course of a day they will deepen programmers' knowledge by focusing in on the topic of physical simulation and providing a toolbox of techniques for programmers interested in creating and using physics engines, with references and links for those looking for more information. The focus of the course is to study various pieces of the simulation pipeline and show how problems along the way can be solved and optimized using standard 3D mathematical concepts and engineering know-how. Topics include integration of a physics engine into a game, rigid body solvers, collision detection and contact resolution, physics on mixed CPU-GPU systems, rigid body destruction, and networking for physics programmers. Sample code libraries and examples are provided.

Presentation (PDF)

Wednesday, March 7th

The theater will feature talks and demos on a wide range of topics covering the latest in GPU game technology. Open to all attendees, the theater is located in the NVIDIA booth and will feature developers and industry leaders from game studios and beyond. Check back here in the coming weeks for more details on featured speakers and topics.

Anybody with an Exhibits Pass or up can attend these presentations.

10:00am - 11:00am

Leveraging Quad Core Tegra 3 Features using Substance by Allegorithmic

Alexis Khouri, Allegorithmic

Allegorithmic will show real game projects using Substance on Tegra 3 (Shadowgun and Bladeslinger), going through the process of creating dynamic textures for high end mobile devices using Allegorithmic's tools. Substance is a technology allowing to produce dynamic texture effects (weathering, aging, damage...) using the additional CPUs of Tegra and without hitting the framerate.

Presentation (PDF)

11:00am - 12:00pm

3dsMax with MassFX

Chris Murray, Autodesk

Autodesk's implementation of MassFX within 3dsMax will show you just how easy the workflow is for rigid body dynamics and how versatile to the tool can be. Additionally, Autodesk will be giving a technology preview of some aspects of MassFX currently being experimented with in 3dsMax.

12:00pm - 1:00pm

DirectX 11 in CryENGINE 3

Sean Patrick Tracy, Crytek

Join Crytek in a presentation on how DirectX 11 features were integrated into CryEngine 3. Their lessons and observations will be presented.

1:00pm - 1:30pm

Marmalade: Bring your Console Development Skills and Assets to Tegra 3 Devices and Beyond

Sam Clegg, Made with Marmalade
Nick Smith, Made with Marmalade

Made with Marmalade will show how to use Marmalade to deploy a PC based game to an Android device, as well as other devices. They will also demonstrate how NVIDIA's PerfHUD ES complements Marmalade to create mobile games with outstanding performance

Presentation (PDF)

1:30pm - 2:00pm

Tegra Profiler Revealed (or: You Are in a Maze of Twisty Passages, All Alike)

Stephen Jones, NVIDIA

Optimizing code is similar to confronting a maze of indistinguishable twisty passages, you never know where they lead. NVIDIA's Tegra Profiler gives you the tools you need to properly navigate this maze, focusing your optimization efforts and allowing you to maximize the performance of Tegra's quad core CPU. Join NVIDIA for the unveiling of this powerful tool.

2:00pm - 3:00pm

IKinema and PhysX - Combining Physics with Kinematics for Realistic Off-Line and Run-Time Animation

Alexandre Pechev, IKinema

IKinema is a production-proven technology for full-body IK animation. Products include run-time middleware for mobile platforms and high-end consoles as well as a plugin solution for Maya. Come to see how IKinema is combined with PhysX in Maya to blend between physical simulation and user-defined constraints to speed up animation and provide tools to the artist for customizing quickly and realistically the dynamic response. This on combination with APEX Clothing brings a dynamic physical effect, in run-time during game-play or off-line during design and animation for film or game.

3:00pm - 4:00pm

Tegra3 + UE3: Sustainable Game Development in a Mobile World

Dan Nikolaides, Phosphor Games
Jarod Pranno, Phosphor Games

Phosphor Games will talk about their high level design and production philosophy that allowed them to produce a high quality mobile game in 3-4 months. This process focuses on "sustainable content" concepts that rely on repeatable techniques to yield console-quality game content. Phosphor Games will also discuss the technical we faced from a scheduling and scope perspective and how they reined it in to ship games. Finally, they will discuss how Tegra 3 has allowed them to stretch their mobile visual effects to unheard-of levels in the mobile world.

4:00pm - 5:00pm

DirectX 11 Debugging with Parallel Nsight

Russ Kerschner, NVIDIA

Many engine and game developers are now adding DirectX 11 to their titles and realize that the complexity and programmability has greatly increased since the DirectX 9 days. To ease the pain associated with this effort, Parallel Nsight harnesses advanced software and hardware features to assist with debugging all aspects of the DirectX 11 pipeline, ranging from pipeline setup to shader authoring. Russ will be showing how the latest graphics debugging features of Parallel Nsight can be used for the development of advanced DirectX 11 rendering effects.

Presentation (PDF)

5:00 - 6:00pm

The Game Console of the Web: GPU-Accelerated 2D and 3D Games with Adobe Gaming Solutions

Lee Brimelow, Adobe
Tom Krcha, Adobe

Join the Adobe gaming team as they show you how to fully leverage the GPU in your Flash mobile and desktop games using the Stage3D APIs. Equal time will be given to both 2D and 3D games and plenty of case studies will be shown.

Thursday March 8, 2012

Artists! Get creative. Get great prizes. Get to the NVIDIA SKETCH MATCH. Come to Booth #1424 starting at 10 am on Thursday, March 8th to sign up for the NVIDIA SKETCH MATCH Contest. Don't miss this fun mix of students, professionals, and drawing exhibitionists—all competing in a high-energy frenzy of creativity. Everyone who participates is eligible to win awesome prizes. We'll provide the old-school materials, like charcoals, pastels, and chalk. You provide the creative passion. NVIDIA's own Creative team will be hosting the event, so come join us for the challenge!

Developers! We have a special series of sessions that will be presented on Thursday in Room 2011. These sessions feature current games that you know and love, as well as some new demos and techniques you haven't seen before.

Anybody with an Exhibits Pass or up can attend these presentations.

10:00am -11:00am
NVIDIA Parallel Nsight™: DirectX 11 at Warp Speed

Jeff Kiel, Sr. Manager, Graphics Developer Tools, NVIDIA

DirectX 11 opens up exciting new frontiers in the realm of real-time rendering effects.  These frontiers are fraught with challenges and dangers, from programming the effects correctly to achieving the warp-speed performance required for an enjoyable gaming experience. Jeff will share the log of his journey, while working with high-profile DirectX 11 game engines, showing how key features of Parallel Nsight are instrumental in overcoming these challenges and makes it possible to create fast, and yet dazzling high-end graphics effects.

11:30am - 12:30pm

Mastering DX11 with Unity

Renaldas Zioma, Tech Lead, Unity

Simon Green, Developer Technology Engineer, NVIDIA

The new Unity engine was designed to produce amazing visuals and game effects using the latest technologies and tools. In this talk, we'll take you behind the scenes and show you how Unity can quickly create astounding visual scenes, how those technologies leverage the power of DirectX 11 compute and tessellation, and how we went about deploying them to maximum effect.

Presentation (PDF)

2:30pm - 3:30pm

Flexible Rendering For Multiple Platforms

Tobias Persson, Co-Founder, Bitsquid

Niklas Frykholm, Co-Founder, Bitsquid

Achieving the best possible visuals on a variety of different platforms demands great flexibility in your renderer. In this session we'll go through how BitSquid Tech achieves this by having a completely data-driven rendering pipe together with a minimalistic abstraction layer on top of the rendering APIs (D3D, GLES, GCM). We'll look at what that means for the game developer as well as how it is designed and implemented from a low-level perspective. A scalable runtime is not all though, you also need tools that allow quick reviewing of changes directly on the target platforms. We'll cover how we've implemented target mirroring in our tools and how you work with platform-specific assets in BitSquid Tech.

4:00pm - 5:00pm

Enhancing Games with Clothing and Destruction

Aron Zoellner, Technical Artist, NVIDIA

Kevin Newkirk, Technical Artist, NVIDIA

In this two-part presentation, we will first show you step by step how physically simulated clothing was added to Bruce Wayne in Batman: Arkham City – we will go through the DCC authoring pipeline, importing to UE3, running the asset in a game level and discuss how to avoid common problems when moving from static to dynamic clothing. Next we will demonstrate clothing using the lead character from Epic's Samaritan demo as a playable character in UE3.

In the second part of the session we will be focusing on the APEX Destruction pipeline using PhysXLab and go through the authoring of recent destruction game examples as well as authoring the massive destruction in the UE3 Art Gallery Demo.

5:30pm - 6:30pm

Android Gaming on Tegra: The Future of Gaming is Now, and it's on the Move!

Lars Bishop, Senior DevTech Engineer, NVIDIA

Marek Rabas, CEO, Madfinger Games

NVIDIA Tegra-powered devices continue to break new ground and redefine the world of mobile gaming. This year we focus on how Android and mobile development has advanced, and what that means for game developers looking to ship exciting, innovative and rock-solid titles. The breadth of topics to be covered give some insight into the wide range of opportunities and challenges facing Android game developers today: Developing for new use cases like HDMI and wireless controller gaming; Quad-core utilization for performance and power; resolution-aware effect tuning; effective use of gyros, accelerometers and cameras as input devices; and Android lifecycle in pure native games.

Join us as we analyze a live, big screen, gamepad enabled, multiplayer session of Shadowgun. Movement is a certainty in the mobile gaming world, be sure to attend and catch which way it's heading.

Presentation (PDF)

Presentation (PPT)

Friday March 9th

Louis Bavoil will speak today about "Stable SSAO in Battlefield 3 with Selective Temporal Filtering." Please keep in mind Louis' talk requires an All Access Pass or a Main Conference Pass.

Stable SSAO in Battlefield 3 with Selective Temporal Filtering (GDC Program Link)

12:05pm -12:30pm

Room 2006, West Hall

Louis Bavoil, NVIDIA

With the highest-quality video options, Battlefield 3 renders its Screen-Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) using the Horizon-Based Ambient Occlusion (HBAO) algorithm. For performance reasons, the HBAO is rendered in half resolution using half-resolution input depths. The HBAO is then blurred in full resolution using a depth-aware blur. The main issue with such low-resolution SSAO rendering is that it produces objectionable flickering for thin objects (such as alpha-tested foliage) when the camera and/or the geometry are moving. After a brief recap of the original HBAO pipeline, this talk describes a novel temporal filtering algorithm that fixed the HBAO flickering problem in Battlefield 3 with a 1-2% performance hit in 1920x1200 on PC (DX10 or DX11). The talk includes algorithm and implementation details on the temporal filtering part, as well as generic optimizations for SSAO blur pixel shaders. This is a joint work between Louis Bavoil (NVIDIA) and Johan Andersson (DICE).

Presentation (PDF)

Our Theater presentations will also continue in our NVIDIA booth, with another broad selection of topics.

Anybody with an Exhibits Pass or up can attend these Theater presentations.

10:00am - 11:00am

Unity on Android

Joe Robins, Unity

Unity will speak about pushing the envelope of 3d on Tegra 3/Android, and demonstrate the techniques they are using to create the kind of visuals seen in titles like Shadowgun.

11:00am - 12:00pm

CUDA and the Future of Dynamic Lighting

Dr. Chris Doran, Geomerics
Dr. Graham Hazel, Geomerics

Geomerics showcases two new technologies that utilise the full capabilities of the CUDA architecture. The first is the inclusion of dynamic objects within the full radiosity update within Enlighten. This enables a full radiosity update for a complex scene with moving geometry in under 5ms on the GPU. This is a wholly practical dynamic solution. The second technology is dynamically-computed soft shadows from area lights. Computing soft shadows from area lights has been practical at interactive rates for some years. We demonstrate how the computations can now be carried out in a few ms on CUDA, making them practical for real-time updates in high-end games.

Presentation (PDF)

12:00pm - 12:30pm

Marmalade: Bring your console development skills and assets to Tegra 3 devices and beyond

Sam Clegg, Made with Marmalade
Nick Smith, Made with Marmalade


Made with Marmalade will show how to use Marmalade to deploy a PC based game to an Android device, as well as other devices. They will also demonstrate how NVIDIA's PerfHUD ES complements Marmalade to create mobile games with outstanding performance

12:30pm - 1:00pm

Tegra Profiler Revealed (or: You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike)

Stephen Jones, NVIDIA

Optimizing code is similar to confronting a maze of indistinguishable twisty passages, you never know where they lead. NVIDIA's Tegra Profiler gives you the tools you need to properly navigate this maze, focusing your optimization efforts and allowing you to maximize the performance of Tegra's quad core CPU. Join NVIDIA for the unveiling of this powerful tool.

1:00 - 2:00pm

DirectX 11 Graphics Profiling with Parallel Nsight

Russ Kerschner, NVIDIA

Adding DirectX 11 to an existing game engine or game title can introduce performance bottlenecks in some of the new pipeline stages. In addition, DirectX 11’s multi-core support improves application performance by offloading your API state setup to other threads, but increases the complexity of your rendering code and its interactions with the runtime, driver, and GPU. Parallel Nsight’s powerful Frame Profiler and Analysis features give you the tools you need to tackle this new level of complexity. Russ will demonstrate how game developers can master these new DirectX 11 functionalities and run at full speed through the use of the latest Parallel Nsight performance analysis features.

Presentation (PDF)

2:00pm – 3:00pm

Enhancing games with APEX(Clothing, Destruction, Turbulence)

Aron Zoellner, NVIDIA
Kevin Newkirk, NVIDIA

APEX has been used in various games to enhance game interactivity. In this session we will show you how APEX Modules (Destruction, Clothing) can be used to add more realistic clothing and destruction into your game. We will provide several APEX examples in current games and guide you through the entire pipeline of authoring, importing and setup of APEX Clothing and Destruction in a UE3 level. This session will provide an overview of the full NVIDIA APEX suite of tools used in the creation of clothing and destruction as well as an overview of the upcoming APEX Turbulence module.