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Automatic Ray-Tracer Cloud Offloading in OpenMP

Rendering an image from a 3D scene requires a large amount of computation which grows exponentially with the complexity of the scene (e.g. number of objects and light sources). With the increasing demand of high definition content, 3D designers need to use high-performance computer systems to keep the rendering time acceptable. Since owning computer clusters is expensive, designers usually rent computing power directly from cloud service providers (e.g, AWS and Azure). However, even though many cloud providers already propose dedicated rendering services, integrating them within the standard workflow of modeling softwares can become a complex and cumbersome task. It typically requires exporting the project from the design software, dealing with various access control mechanisms from different clouds to upload the project, and executing the rendering remotely through command-line. Offloading computation to the cloud is a technique which can considerably simplify such tasks. To achieve that, this paper uses an extension of openMP 4.X to eliminate any major interactions with the end-user, while minimizing the complexity of cloud integration and optimizing the design workflow. It applies such approach to a ray-tracing application, a simplified version of the engines used by professional 3D modeling software (e.g. Blender). It automatically offloads the rendering process from the user computer to computer cluster within the Microsoft Azure cloud, brings the resulting images back after the computation ends and displays them directly on the screen of the user computer, thus providing a transparent programming model and good speed-ups over local execution.
Matheus Mortatti, Hervé Yviquel, Guido Araújo. Automatic Ray-Tracer Cloud Offloading in OpenMP. the 9th Workshop on Applications for Multi-Core Architectures (WAMCA 2018), Sep 2018, Lyon, France.

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