15 Sep 2005 » permalink

It all started with a hint from Richard that he’s already using OpenGL as the display system in his OpenME editor.

In the old days, even before the whole 3d gaming hype, I used to be very much interested in VR-like graphics & visualizations — experimenting a lot with OpenGL and DirectX (sigh). I immediately started to think how we could possibly use all this overblown gaming-oriented 3d-hardware to aid the process of video editing. Well, it seems that the possibilities are there, just waiting to be explored.

Diva will use OpenGL as the rendering engine. If you ever took care to look at the video renderers available for mplayer or xine, you might have noticed that they do support OpenGL. But we will do much more than that. OpenGL (and all the hardware acceleration) will be used not only for the display. It will be used for the actual compositing and colorspace handling.

What does it mean from the user’s point of view?

The are some caveats obviously. The biggest one the fact, that even though major brands (Nvidia, Ati, Matrox) provide decent OpenGL drivers for Linux, they differ greatly in terms of hardware features (extensions) implemented. Shamefully enough, OpenGL doesn’t provide any defined standard in terms of dealing with YUV data.

But we can overcome this by adjusting the level of acceleration depending on the capabilities present. If you happen to have Nvidia FX or better, it will use the fragment shader, the one you know pretty well if you play Doom 3. If not — we will fallback to multi-texture blending.

Apple already does that with a proprietary extension to Ati drivers they developed for Quartz (which uses OpenGL). But they support only one YUV format (4:2:2) and it strikes me we can do much more. Instead of trying to pixel-convert the textures, we can accurately simulate the RGB->YUV equation with multi-textural blending. This way we can fed the the YUV data directly to the GPU without occupying too much of the AGP bus.

Now, I'd be grateful if some OpenGL-magician contacted me to discuss that before I actually started implementing it.

In other news Eugenia did it again. My monthly bandwidth went “poof” yesterday. I have to say thanks (again) to rjw who suggested at some point to host all my demos outside of this site. People managed to generate 70GB of traffic on the Novell Forge in the last two weeks.