GPU programming for real-time watercolor simulation



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Texas A&M University


This thesis presents a method for combining GPU programming with traditional programming to create a fluid simulation based watercolor tool for artists. This application provides a graphical interface and a canvas upon which artists can create simulated watercolors in real time. The GPU, or Graphics Processing Unit, is an effcient and highly parallel processor located on the graphics card of a computer; GPU programming is touted as a way to improve performance in graphics and non?graphics applications. The effectiveness of this method in speeding up large, general purpose programs, however, is found here to be disappointing. In a small application with minimal CPU/GPU interaction, theoretical speedups of 10 times maybe achieved, but with the limitations of communication speed between the GPU and the CPU, gains are slight when this method is used in conjunction with traditional programming.