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Writing a GPU-Accelerated Path Tracer in Rust - Part 1

15 minute read Published:

Well, it’s that time again. This is the start of a second series of articles on raytracing in Rust following on from my previous series. This time, I’ll be doing all of the rendering on a GPU using Accel - see my previous post on Accel. I thought this would be a good project for learning about GPU programming, see. Second, this time I want to write a path tracer, rather than a raytracer.

Running Rust on the GPU with Accel

13 minute read Published:

For the past month or so, I’ve been working on a follow-up to my series on Writing a Raytracer in Rust. This time around, I’ll be talking about writing a GPU-accelerated Path Tracer. As always, I’m writing it in Rust - including the GPU kernel code. Compiling Rust for GPUs at this point is difficult and error-prone, so I thought it would be good to start with some documentation on that aspect of the problem before diving into path tracing.

JARVIS - Notes on Rust Crates From Writing an RSS Reader

15 minute read Published:

Way back in the dim mists of history (back in university) I wrote myself a custom RSS reader in Java and called it JARVIS1. You see, I read a lot of webcomics. Like, a lot. Some webcomics provide RSS feeds, but some don’t, and as my collection grew it started to become a hassle to use Firefox’s live bookmarks to manage it all. Ultimately, I wrote up a quick Swing GUI to use as a single interface for keeping up with blogs and tracking which comics had published updates since the last time I’d checked2.

Criterion.rs v0.2 - HTML, Throughput Measurements, API Changes

4 minute read Published:

I’m pleased to announce the release of Criterion.rs v0.2, available today. Version 0.2 provides a number of new features including HTML reports and throughput measurements, fixes a handful of bugs, and adds a new, more powerful way to configure and construct your benchmarks. It also breaks backwards compatibility with the 0.1 versions in a number of small but important ways. Read on to learn more! What is Criterion.rs? Criterion.rs is a statistics-driven benchmarking library for Rust.

Benchmarking In Stable Rust With Criterion.rs

5 minute read Published:

When I initially announced the release of Criterion.rs, I didn’t expect that there would be so much demand for benchmarking on stable Rust. Now, I’d like to announce the release of Criterion.rs 0.1.2, which supports the stable compiler. This post is an introduction to benchmarking with Criterion.rs and a discussion of reasons why you might or might not want to do so. What is Criterion.rs? Criterion.rs is a benchmarking library for Rust that aims to bring solid statistical confidence to benchmarking Rust code, while maintaining good ease-of-use, even for programmers without a background in statistics.

Are Benchmarks From Cloud CI Services Reliable?

6 minute read Published:

After I released the first version of Criterion.rs, (a statistics-driven benchmarking tool for Rust) I was asked about using it to detect performance regressions as part of a cloud-based continuous integration (CI) pipeline such as Travis-CI or Appveyor. That got me wondering - does it even make sense to do that? Cloud-CI pipelines have a lot of potential to introduce noise into the benchmarking process - unpredictable load on the physical hosts of the build VM’s, or even unpredictable migrations of VMs between physical hosts.

Experiments In NES JIT Compilation

22 minute read Published:

Inspired by the always-incredible work on Dolphin, I decided to write myself an NES emulator called Corrosion a couple years ago. I managed to get it working well enough to play basic games, and then put the project aside. This post is not about the emulator itself, but rather the JIT compiler I added to it last year and the upgrades to said JIT compiler I’ve made over the past few weeks.

Parsing NES ROM Headers with nom

8 minute read Published:

Long, long ago (December 2015) I wanted to learn how emulators worked, so I decided to write an NES emulator. Not only that, but I opted to write it in Rust, a language which I had never used before. A crazy idea, to be certain, but once I was done I had indeed learned a great deal about emulators, the NES, and Rust. Anyway, I’ve been working on that project again lately, doing some maintenance work and upgrades.

Calling Rust From Python

11 minute read Published:

Hello! This is a detailed example of exposing Rust code to other languages (in this case, Python). Most articles I’ve seen that cover this topic uses really trivial example functions, skipping over a lot of the complexity. Even the better ones out there typically don’t have a pre-existing, reasonably complex program to work with. I’m going to start with trivial functions and build my way up to being able to define a scene for my raytracer in Python using a series of calls to Rust, then render it and return the resulting image data back to Python.

Writing a Raytracer in Rust - Part 3 - Reflection and Refraction

12 minute read Published:

Hello again, and welcome to the final part of my series on writing a raytracer in Rust (Part 1, Part 2). Previously we implemented a basic raytracer which could handle diffuse shading of planes and spheres with multiple objects and multiple lights. This time, we’ll add texturing, reflection and transparent objects. First, I’ve refactored the common parts of Sphere and Plane out to a separate structure. Since this post is all about handling more complex surface properties, we’ll need a structure to represent them and avoid duplication.