New starfield screensaver for ReactOS

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Carlo Bramix
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Re: New starfield screensaver for ReactOS

Post by Carlo Bramix »

vicmarcal wrote:I changed to 20 stars, and still nothing. This graphic card must be a full shit :)It looks quite nice in the small preview window.
Acer, I hate your laptops :3
I was able to put my hands on a mini PC based on an Atom mainboard.
This thing includes an Intel HD Graphics 3150.
Installed OS was Windows XP with all latest drivers installed.
And yes, you are right, it's very slow and it really seems to be related to the absence of an accelerated OpenGL driver.
In the order, I tried the following drivers:
- GLDirect
http://sourceforge.net/projects/gldirect/
Unfortunately it does not run: GLDirect asks to Direct3D if it supports vertex shaders 2.0 but it replies "NO". Perhaps an older version from SciTech may be more helpful.
- TitaniumGL
http://titaniumgl.tk/
It is able to run the screensaver with some bugs: unfortunately for some reasons that I cannot really understand, it does not seem to support directional lights (all stars are always white, from the far plane to the near plane) and it refuses to apply blending.

Unfortunately, this is not a problem that I can solve easily, I mean the absence of a decent OpenGL driver.

BTW, that's true that this screensaver requires a (minimal IMHO) support from hardware to work smoothly, and currently it does not work very fast on ReactOS too for the same reason, although ReactOS has also some known issues.
If the PC will use a screensaver or another one, this depends to the user's choices, because there are some things that your hardware can do and others that cannot do. ;)

Ey3
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Re: New starfield screensaver for ReactOS

Post by Ey3 »

Haos wrote:No idea what OpenGL version does that screensaver use, but i presume it would work nicer even on 3dfx Voodoo 2 with its opengl miniport driver than on INTEL IGP 3d decelerator.
I think so... the Intel integrated graphics are not so bad, it's the manifacturer's driver that is crappy.

Haos
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Re: New starfield screensaver for ReactOS

Post by Haos »

Again, this is an integrated, not dedicated chip. It lacks proper 3d acceleration hardware and fast memory. Even ones built on top of newest Intel CPUs will not render this screensaver fast enough. Intel HD Graphics boasts of full OpenGL 2.1 support...

Carlo Bramix
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Re: New starfield screensaver for ReactOS

Post by Carlo Bramix »

Just a little additional information:
this screensaver uses OpenGL 1.1
Infact, the executable that I uploaded at bugzilla is an ASCII application and it works even on Windows 95 (try to believe).

PurpleGurl
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Re: New starfield screensaver for ReactOS

Post by PurpleGurl »

I tried it under XP and it works great. I thought is was a little sluggish, but I decided to rename the existing screen saver and copy it to the System32 directory to see if it had a control panel. In there, I could adjust the speed, rotation, and number of stars. And I played with the settings to preference and liked the result. This is a more interesting screen saver than the MS one by the same name, and more realistic.

The only thing in terms of performance issues that I seemed to notice was that maybe it was a little more sensitive to mouse movement, like maybe differences in how many pixels the mouse must move to be considered a move.

Using it under Windows, its copyright screen is a bit interesting, giving MS credit for the screen saver. Obviously, it won't do that under Reactos.

Ey3
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Re: New starfield screensaver for ReactOS

Post by Ey3 »

Haos wrote:Again, this is an integrated, not dedicated chip. It lacks proper 3d acceleration hardware and fast memory. Even ones built on top of newest Intel CPUs will not render this screensaver fast enough. Intel HD Graphics boasts of full OpenGL 2.1 support...
I don't know about OpenGL support by Intel, so you may be right on this, but you can check by yourself, that with modded drivers you can even play with DirectX7-9 on a integrated Intel chipset (of course at minimum resolution and no filters). With the newest CPU-GPU packs that Intel produces, you can decode full hd streams and even play quite good at directx9 3D applications.
So, imho the problem is not the low performance, but it's more a lack of support for OpenGL by Intel graphics, so all the work is done by the CPU (and so if you're on a semi-old laptop it could lag, but on a desktop it should go smoothly in any case).


EDIT: I found on Intel website this
OpenGL* is an API (Application Programming Interface) for 3D graphics that is used by many games. OpenGL enables hardware acceleration of 3D graphics, so support is required from the graphics drivers for optimum performance. The latest graphics drivers will usually provide the best compatibility with games that use OpenGL. Graphics drivers that come with Microsoft Windows* or that are downloaded from Windows Update typically do not support OpenGL.
So Victor, I think you let Windows install automatically your video drivers and this could be why your OpenGL applications are not hw accelereted.
Try downloading official Intel drivers for your chipset and let us know :)

Carlo Bramix
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Re: New starfield screensaver for ReactOS

Post by Carlo Bramix »

I have uploaded a new binary with its precompiled executable.
This is mainly a release for speeding up things on low end system.
Unfortunately, it does not seem to improve performances on Intel HD graphics.
Ey3 wrote:So Victor, I think you let Windows install automatically your video drivers and this could be why your OpenGL applications are not hw accelereted.
Try downloading official Intel drivers for your chipset and let us know :)
I'm sure that I have very latest Intel driver installed.
Infact, on that miniPC with an Atom mainboard, in the control panel desktop applet I have an additional tab with various video card settings, including OpenGL ones.
But I ignore what kind of tricks I should use to make working decently this screensaver on that system.
By doing a research in the net, while they work quite fine with directx stuff, it seems that supporting OpenGL applications on these hardwares is a common problem.

Carlo Bramix
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Re: New starfield screensaver for ReactOS

Post by Carlo Bramix »

Hello,
vicmarcal wrote:It is still slow for me(even the new binary), maybe it is related to the Intel HD graphics the Laptop has.^^
But it is quite slow here.Should be working ok in an Intel HD?Or does it really need a good graphic card?
Tested under Windows 7/64bits
I'm wondering if you (or somebody else with same problem) could do this test:
1) Take the executable of the screensaver, that is ssstars.scr, and rename it to ssstars.exe
2) Launch it with "ssstars.exe /s" from command prompt or with a shortcut and let me know what happens.

I do not know why, but with my tests on the Intel HD graphics 3150 I discovered (at least on the hardware in my hands) that the video driver disables all OpenGL acceleration and it switches to software rendering, but JUST when you launch screensavers.
By simply renaming the application to have ".exe" extension and launching it with "/s" option, accelerated graphics started.
Very smooth and clean with maximum number of stars.

At these point I have no other good ideas...
Perhaps there is an option somewhere, an hack to put in the registry or something like that, to enable accelerated OpenGL on screensaver too... who knows what engineers at Intel had in their mind...

Sincerely,

Carlo Bramini.

gabrielilardi
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Re: New starfield screensaver for ReactOS

Post by gabrielilardi »

A quick search gives:
Hardware acceleration for OpenGL* screensavers is not enabled in the graphics drivers because of potential compatibility issues with a number of third party OpenGL screensavers. Running the screensavers in software mode should reduce the possibility of system lockups or crashes while these screen savers are enabled. This should not prevent these screen savers from running, but slow rendering speed may be seen. This does not affect OpenGL-based games or general applications.
From: http://www.intel.com/support/graphics/sb/CS-004684.htm

A fast workaround, rename the screensaver form .scr to .sCr. from this tip.

vicmarcal
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Re: New starfield screensaver for ReactOS

Post by vicmarcal »

gabrielilardi wrote:A quick search gives:
Hardware acceleration for OpenGL* screensavers is not enabled in the graphics drivers because of potential compatibility issues with a number of third party OpenGL screensavers. Running the screensavers in software mode should reduce the possibility of system lockups or crashes while these screen savers are enabled. This should not prevent these screen savers from running, but slow rendering speed may be seen. This does not affect OpenGL-based games or general applications.
From: http://www.intel.com/support/graphics/sb/CS-004684.htm

A fast workaround, rename the screensaver form .scr to .sCr. from this tip.
Thanks Gabriel!Incredible!It works perfect now!
Going from 1FPS to 150FPS!What the fuck!
just changing a letter?just capitalizing a letter?which is the technical reason behind this black necromancy?

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Black_Fox
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Re: New starfield screensaver for ReactOS

Post by Black_Fox »

There is no technical reason, only "we have compatibility issues with some combinations of HW and screensavers, therefore we will rather cripple ALL screensavers than let a few of them crash" reason.

Carlo Bramix
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Re: New starfield screensaver for ReactOS

Post by Carlo Bramix »

gabrielilardi wrote:A fast workaround, rename the screensaver form .scr to .sCr. from this tip.
vicmarcal wrote:Thanks Gabriel!Incredible!It works perfect now!
Going from 1FPS to 150FPS!What the fuck!
just changing a letter?just capitalizing a letter?which is the technical reason behind this black necromancy?
Thank you everyone for your support.
It looks like that what I have discovered myself with experiments is real.
I had not written it in my previous message, but I have released a new binary with sources, a few improvements and newer translations.
Since the mystery around the Intel HD Graphic is resolved, I believe that the screensaver itself is done.
If somebody would like to provide newer translations to it or there are some bugs/suggestions, post freely at bugzilla and I will update sources and binaries from time to time as required.

Sincerely,

Carlo Bramini.

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