Seemingly endless grids and performance

Category: tips

Tags: old-blog example

I've been dealing with performance in Grid Framework recently and added a feature that will keep the Garbage Collector from going crazy. Until now rendering always went like this: Manager requests rendering from grid -> grid calculates the end points of each line -> these points get passed to Unity's GL class for rendering. Every single frame. I have introduced a caching feature that will store all the calculated points and reuse them instead of calculating everything all over again as long as the grid has not been modified.

This still doesn't solve the second bottleneck: rendering all these lines. Unfortunately there just isn't anything I can do about this, the GL class needs to have every single point one way or another. So, what if you want a very large grid that extends way beyond your camera's view? The answer is to fake it!

The idea is to only have the grid large enough to go beyond the camera's view port. Once the camera tries to go off the grid change the grid's rendering range to fit into the view port again. However, every time we change the rendering range this causes the caching to recalculate the points (since our old points are no longer valid), so caching doesn't do anything. The solution here is to add a little buffer, to make the grid larger than the view port, so we can move the camera a bit without going off the grid. Here is the video showing it step by step:

With such a small grid there is no real difference in using caching of not, but the concept is there if you need it for larger cases. This example will work in the current version of Grid Framework, but caching is a feature of the upcoming version 1.2.4, which is still waiting for approval.