Skeletal Animation in a Shading Atlas Streaming environment

Florian Komposch

Supervisor(s): Dipl.-Ing. Philip Voglreiter BSc

TU Graz

Abstract: This paper describes a solution to integrate skeletal animation and animated hierarchical transformations into a high-quality Virtual Reality environment. As a base framework, we use the Shading Atlas Streaming environment. In contrast to widely available Virtual Reality systems, Shading Atlas Streaming decouples server side rendering and display tasks on the client. Rather than transmitting pre-computed images, Shading Atlas Streaming uses a combination of potentially visible geometry and shading information which it transmits in an asynchronous fashion. Since the client actually renders the currently visible geometry and directly applies shading information from the atlas, potential network delay and bandwidth limitations may generate occlusion artifacts for animated scene content when using a straight-forward approach. Further, client display frame rates are much higher than the server update rates by design. For animations to work properly, we need to account for appropriate interpolation. We introduce an animation system that is capable of dealing with the asynchronous behavior of Shading Atlas Streaming and provides smooth animations on the client, irregardless of the frame rate of the server update rate. Due to the comparably low capabilities of modern Virtual Reality headsets, our approach must incur only a small performance footprint on the client. We approach this by linearization of animations and a completely GPU-based implementation of the skeletal animation system. The system is designed to perform the main animation workload on the typically high performance server PC and leaves the client with only one additional interpolation task for frame rate upsampling.
Keywords: Animation, Real-time Graphics, Rendering, VR
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Year: 2020