RTSL: a Ray Tracing Shading Language

Steven G. Parker, Solomon Boulos, James Bigler, Austin Robison
SCI Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
IEEE Symposium on Interactive Ray Tracing, 2007. RT ’07


   title={RTSL: a Ray Tracing Shading Language},

   author={Parker, S.G. and Boulos, S. and Bigler, J. and Robison, A.},

   booktitle={IEEE Symposium on Interactive Ray Tracing},






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We present a new domain-specific programming language suitable for extending both interactive and non-interactive ray tracing systems. This language, called ldquoray tracing shading languagerdquo (RTSL), builds on the GLSL language that is a part of the OpenGL specification and familiar to GPU programmers. This language allows a programmer to implement new cameras, primitives, textures, lights, and materials that can be used in multiple rendering systems. RTSL presents a single-ray interface that is easy to program for novice programmers. Through an advanced compiler, packet- based SIMD-optimized code can be generated that is performance competitive with hand-optimized code. This language and compiler combination allows sophisticated primitives, materials and textures to realize the performance gains possible by SIMD and ray packets without the low-level programming burden. In addition to the packet-based Manta system, the compiler targets two additional rendering systems to exercise this flexibility: the PBRT system and the batch Monte Carlo renderer Galileo.
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