SMP Multi-thread code basics

Sparrowhawke3DSparrowhawke3D Posts: 50

I want to learn to implement code using SMP threads but I'm having trouble understanding how to achieve this with the SDK functions - especially without some complete sample code. Like most of the SDK it's a baffling puzzle that is only simple to understand if you already know the answer.

Any references I have found and read about multi-thread code have their API specific calls and examples are usually in an application context with a main thread. The Carrara SDK functions which I can find are different and almost seem incomplete.

I'm aware that it is a complex and more dangerous area of programming. Perhaps somebody can fill in the gaps for me or give me a kick in the right direction...

1. Creating and launching a thread is clear enough but without a 'WaitForThread' or 'WaitForMultipleObjects' how do we know when its ::Work() is done ? Must all the synchronizing be achieved through IShSemaphore and if so exactly how ?

2. How are large amounts of data in TMCArray(s) accessed and processed by a thread in ::Work() ? We can't use globals and obviously we don't want to copy them. Does all the large data have to use the LocalStorage ? How are TMCSMPArray and TMCSMPArrayRequest used ?

To present an example: how can I move this section of code, in the context of a Deformer call, out into a thread ?

class MYTHREAD: public TBasicSmpThread
virtual MCCOMErr MCCOMAPI Work();

MCCOMErr MyDeformer::DeformFacetMesh(real lod,FacetMesh* MeshIn,FacetMesh** MeshOut)
TMCArray OffsetVertices;
TVector3 vOffset;
uint32 uVertex,uTotalVertices;
for(uVertex=0;uVertex OffsetVertices[uVertex]=MeshIn->fVertices[uVertex]+vOffset;
// MYTHREAD MyThread;
int32 iThreadID;
// iThreadID=gShellSMPUtilities->LaunchSMPThread(&MyThread;,0,NULL,kHighPriority,&bAbortThread;);
// wait for thread to finish...
// rebuild the facet offset mesh



// signal that the work is done...
return MC_S_OK;

If that isn't too hard then the next example could be how to launch more than one thread for each iteration of the loop and get a few running simultaneously and wait for them to finish. Another example to clear things up might be to have 3 different threads with each to process x,y and z separately.

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