GPU Boolean Evaluation for CSG Ray-Tracing

In BRL-CAD, some work has been done in order to optimize the ray-tracing process, with ray-intersection calculations implemented in OpenCL for several primitives, taking advantage of GPGPUs parallel mechanisms to render scenes in a faster way. I propose to continue the optimization of the ray-tracing in BRL-CAD, by implementing the CSG Boolean evaluation on the GPU using OpenCL.


The CSG Boolean evaluation method in BRL-CAD uses a Boolean weaver algorithm to create ray partitions from intersection segments, that will be later evaluated against the CSG tree that represents the CSG object. I intend to rewrite a similar algorithm in the GPU, by implementing the main functions used for Boolean evaluation in the file 'src/librt/bool.c', like 'bool_weave', 'bool_eval', 'rt_boolfinal' and other functions used by these, in OpenCL.

Currently, the CPU code uses dynamic data structures to store the line segments and the partitions that are used in the Boolean evaluation, and has some 'goto' statements that are not supported by OpenCL. I will start by implementing this algorithm with a linked-list data structure to store the ray partitions on the GPU, using two fixed size buffers to represent the data structure.

After having a working implementation of the algorithm in OpenCL, I will add a CSG coherence method to further optimize the algorithm, by taking advantage of the fact that adjacent rays may intersect the same primitives in the same order as previous rays, and the Boolean classification for those rays can be avoided in those situations.

Useful Links


  • Patch to weave intersection segments into partitions in OCL (rt_boolweave()).
  • Patch to evaluate partitions over the CSG tree (bool_eval() and rt_boolfinal()).
  • Patch to reuse Boolean classification of previous rays by taking advantage of CSG coherence.

Development Schedule

  • Week 1-2: create OCL kernel to perform weaving of segments and create data structure to store the ray partitions.
  • Week 3-4: process and weave the segments into partitions in the OCL kernel and analyze the partitions created from a simple CSG scene / submit patch.
  • Week 5-6: restructure bool_eval() and implement the function in OCL.
  • Week 7-8: implement the rt_boolfinal() kernel function and other needed functions to perform Boolean evaluation in OCL and test with different CSG scenes/ submit patch.
  • Week 9-10: implement statistics for a CSG coherence method by creating a list to store order and result of Boolean evaluation of previous rays.
  • Week 11: compare the intersection order of new rays against the stored order of previous rays. If the order is the same, read the Boolean evaluation from the list. Otherwise, calculate the Boolean classification for the new ray and update the list.
  • Week 12: compare the time efficiency between the CPU-based and GPU-based Boolean evaluation algorithms / submit patch.


During the GSOC period, I am able to dedicate 40-45 hours per week to the project, as it coincide with the summer break period of my university. I will not have others ongoing projects and neither planned vacations for that period, so I intend to fully commit to BRL-CAD from day 1 to the last day.

Why BRL-CAD? Why me?

I am looking forward to contribute to the BRL-CAD project because I always enjoyed 3D modeling and I am familiar with the source code and documentation of BRL-CAD. Currently working on a master's thesis on Boolean evaluation for CSG ray-tracing, I believe that I could apply the knowledge acquired on the BRL-CAD project and speed up the rendering of CSG scenes.

Personal Information

Name: Marco da Silva Domingues


IRC: mdtwenty

Brief background: I am in the last year of a Computer Science master degree at Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Portugal, focused in computer graphics and video games development.