The frame debugger in Unity 5

Aras Pranckevičius wrote on the Unity blog about the new frame debugger feature they added to their editor: Frame Debugger in Unity 5.0. The hack, he calls it, is very simple and just consists in interrupting the rendering at a given stage and display whichever frame buffer was active at the moment. Just a couple of days of work; most of the work went into the editor UI.

From the article:

There’s no actual “frame capture” going on; pretty much all we do is stop rendering after some number of draw calls. So if you’re looking at a frame that would have 100 objects rendered and you’re looking at object #10 right now, then we just skip rendering the remaining 90. If at that point in time we happen to be rendering into a render texture, then we display it on the screen.

This means the implementation is simple; getting functionality working was only a few days of work (and then a few weeks iterating on the UI).


Illustration from the article: “Here we are stepping through the draw calls of depth texture creation, in glorious animated GIF form”

Volumetric light scattering

Here are a couple of links on how to render light scattering effect (aka. volumetric shadows):


CPU details you always wanted to know but never asked

Here are two roughly 90mn long resources on these CPU details you always wanted to know but never asked:

An article giving an up to date, dense and well explained overview of microprocessors architecture: Modern Microprocessors – A 90 minutes guide!

A talk by Scott Meyers on CPU cache: CPU Caches and Why You Care. Although the recording could be much better to say the least, the talk is very worth watching, starting with very simple considerations and getting pretty far while staying crystal clear. The slides can be found here.

Update: the Scott Meyers talk referenced in the above link has been put behind a paywall. However he gave his talk again in 2014 at a conference, and the video is available. The new talk contains a few differences, and all in all I find it a bit harder to follow and a bit less entertaining (for some reason, the jokes don’t work as well as they did previously), but the recording quality is also much better.