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Old 04-12-2006, 05:07 AM   #1
praiser
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Screensaver problem


Hey there

Because my 3D accelerated graphics card is configured properly, all 3D screensavers are really working good.
There are also some simple 2D screensavers - like moving lines - those are okay.
But why do these "complex 2D" screensavers (for example FireworkX) stumble?

Thanks for any help
Florian
 
Old 04-12-2006, 09:10 AM   #2
Hosiah
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Fireworks X, if I recall, uses the *top* end Open GL features like particles and smoke. Drawing a box is one thing. keeping track of a hundred glowing particles is another. Ditto for one that does fire in Open GL, and the tunnel one.

Every Linux distro I've seen had one or two screensavers that just didn't perform well. I try to change the options so they're not too demanding, and if that doesn't work, I just don't use that one.
 
Old 04-12-2006, 09:43 AM   #3
praiser
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Ok, thanks...

But what do you mean with "*top* end Open GL features like particles and smoke"? Is there a way to enable this or install relevant modules?
 
Old 04-12-2006, 10:11 AM   #4
Hosiah
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I *believe* it's more a matter of hardware memory-processor and RAM and such. My facts on OpenGL programming are shaky, however - for graphics on Linux, I quickly gravitated to SDL which does it all in software. OpenGL has been known to be generally clunky and memory-hogging all along. (Games like Tux Racer I notice are falling out of favor, for example)

Another example of a top-end (memory-intensive) process is reflective/transparent surfaces. They take much more time to render than solid plain surfaces. To understand why, see this? -> No, of course you can't, because it's too tiny :P but it's a photon, for every light source there are thousands of them flying off in all directions. Your computer doesn't have a physical space inside to show light, so the next best thing is to give a tiny piece of memory to each individual photon and track where they all go. Simpler with one light source falling on one surface, but add reflexion or transparency and now some of the photons make it through the transparent surface, some of them bounce off the refective surface, some of them get reflected back and forth so they multiply, some of them intersect and affect each other, yadda-yadda.

Same concept for many elements of anything moving around - it takes more memory to track it accurately. With the fireworks, you have many particles, each one gives off some light, and the explosion leaves a small cloud of smoke, which is a fine mist of semi-transparent particles.

When I say SDL (or Mesa3D, another software-rendering library) does it all in software, I mean that a Mesa3D program looks at what it needs to draw, and tells the computer that it will need that much memory and handles the rendering in the memory stack. OpenGL is lazy, it just shoves that kind of work off at the computer - "here, render this" - and doesn't care if your computer crashes trying to do it.

Boy, I hope I didn't screw up any details - any graphics wizzes out there care to fact-check me?
 
  


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