[ Applause ]
DAVID HAYWARD: Good morning, everyone, my name is David Hayward, and it's my privilege today to talk about what's new in Core Image on iOS 9 and Mac OS X El Capitan.
So to start off, we will be covering several things today.
First off I will give a brief introduction to Core Image for those new to the subject.
I recommend that you go back and see our presentations from last year.
In particular, there was a great discussion on how to write kernels in Core Image.
Next, we'll be talking about what's new in Core Image this year.
We have a lot of stuff to talk about here.
And the other third of our discussion today will be talking about using Core Image and bridging it with other graphics frameworks on our platforms.
First, an introduction to Core Image.
In concept, the idea of Core Image is you can apply filters to images.
In a simple example, you can start with an input image and apply a filter to do a color effect such as sepia tone, but if you don't like the color of sepia tone you can apply another color effect to change the hue to make it more of a blue-toned image.
You can also use Core Image to apply effects such as geometry-distorting events.
In this example, we are just using a simple transform to zoom in on a portion of the image.
You can think of there being an intermediate image between every filter.
However, the way we implement filters, they are actually very lightweight objects that take very little time to create, and there are not necessarily intermediate buffers in between them.
Another important concept is that associated with each filter is one or more kernels.
CI kernels are small subroutines that apply the effect that that kernel is trying to achieve.
One of the other key features of Core Image is we concatenate these kernels into a program as much as possible to minimize the use of intermediate buffers and improve performance.
Another key feature in Core Image is what we call region of interest support.
The idea is that if you are only rendering a portion of an image, either because you are zoomed in on a large image or because it's being rendered out in tiles, we can ask each filter that's been rendered how much of the input image it needs, and from that we can calculate back to the source image the exact region that's needed of that image in order to produce the desired output.
This is another great feature of Core Image that allows us to get good performance especially when working on large images.
There are four main classes you need to be aware of when you are using Core Image.
The first is the CI kernel.
I mentioned this earlier.
This represents the program or routine written in Core Image's kernel language.
The second key class is the filter, the CI filter.
This is a mutable object, and it can have multiple inputs, and these input parameters can be either numbers or vectors or other images.
The filter uses one or more kernels in order to create an output image based on the current state of the input parameters.
A CI image is an immutable object that represents the recipe to produce that image based on the previous kernels that have been applied.
And lastly, there is the CIContext object.
And this is a more heavyweight object.
This is the object through which Core Image will render.
You want to avoid creating these too often in your application, so if you are doing fast animation you want to do this just once.
And the great thing about CIContext is they can be implemented on various different back-end renderers in our system.
So the next thing I would like to talk about now that the introduction is behind us is to talk about what's new this year in Core Image.
We have several things to talk about today.
We will be talking about Metal, talking about new filters, new detector, color management support, and some improvements to the kernel classes and languages.
And most important thing I want to talk about is that we now in Core Image have a unified implementation across both of our platforms, so for the most part unless we mention otherwise the behavior of Core Image is completely consistent and equivalent between iOS and OS X.
And this is a great feature for developers to be able to rely on this consistent behavior.
This can be little things such as the fact that when you include the Core Image header, you can include Core Image, Core Image.H, regardless what platform you are.
So it makes it a lot easier if you're doing cross-platform code.
We have now got API parity between the two platforms.
So one of the major things we want to talk about today is Core Image support for Metal.
And we will be talking this in much more detail later on in the presentation, but I want to give you the highlights right now.
The key things to think of is that Metal Textures can now be given as an input to Core Image, and also Metal Textures can be the output of Core Image.
And internally, Core Image context will be able to use Metal as their internal renderer.
What that means is if you have written a kernel in CI's kernel language, it will be automatically translated on the fly to Metal language.
Another thing to keep in mind is some of our built-in filters, notably Gaussian and convolution filters, are now built on top of Metal performance shaders in order to get the best possible performance on the diversity of platforms that are supported.
A little bit about filters.
Again, as I mentioned before, we now have a unified implementation of Core Image.
This means we have 200 buil- in filters on both platforms.
That means we have brought a lot of filters to the iOS implementation of Core Image.
Over 40 have been added in this release.
These fall into different categories.
There are fun filters like comic effect, and CMYK Halftone, and Droste, and Page Curl.
There are also some convolutions filters that are useful, such as median filters, edge detection, and noise reduction.
Also we have reduction filters, which are useful for image analysis such as Area Maximum or Column Averaging an image.
In order to give you a little taste of this, I want to show you the latest version of one of our sample applications called Core Image FunHouse, and we try to update this every year.
One of the things we have now is now that we have 200 filters, when you bring up the Filters pop-up in this application, we have now broken them up into categories.
You can also see highlighted in red all of the new filters we have added, and there is now an API for you to determine what release a filter was included in.
And this is, of course, showing the CMYK Halftone effect getting good performance on an iPad at Retina resolution.
There are two new filters we have added to Core Image on both platforms by popular request.
These are filters for generating bar codes.
So the input in this case to a filter is not a number or another image, but a text string.
And we have added these two for generating PDF417 bar codes and code 128 bar codes.
Another feature of Core Image is what we call our CI detector classes.
These are our classes we have released in the past for doing things like detecting faces in an image, detecting QR codes in an image, or detecting rectangles in an image.
And we have a new one this year, which is for detecting areas of text in an image.
The idea in the filter is to locate areas that are likely to contain upright text.
So let me give a brief demo of this running on an iPad.
We have hooked this up to the Core Image FunHouse application.
So we have an old box that was on my shelf, and if we turn on the text detector it's locating the upright text, both the runs of text and the individual characters.
And as we zoom in and rotate the camera, the upright text will detect some of the text that was at an angle as well.
So that's our new text detector so I'm excited to see what developers come up with to use that.
Another thing we have brought now with our unified implementation of Core Image is now on iOS we have the great functionality of automatic color management.
This has been available on OS X ever since the beginning of Core Image, but now we have this on iOS as well.
What this means is that Core Image now supports ICC-based CGColorSpaceRefs fully.
And these can be used on input images or output images or even as a working space in Core Image.
This is through great work that's been done to support ColorSync on iOS as well.
What this means to users is that automatically you will get correct rendering of TIFFs or JPGs that are tagged with color spaces.
Many images are tagged with sRGB and those have been rendered correctly on previous versions of iOS, but now if you have an image tagged with a color space that is not sRGB, you get the correct behavior.
Here is an example of an image tagged with the Pro Photo color space.
The red bench in the background is desaturated, and skin tones look poor.
When you correctly see the embedded ICC profile on this, the image is rendered correctly.
And this you get automatically in Core Image.
We also have some new support for CI kernel classes that is now available on OS X like it has been on iOS in the past.
This is another benefit of our unified implementation.
For example, we have two classes called CI color kernel and CI warp kernels.
The idea behind these classes is to make it much easier for you to write the most common basic filters.
Traditionally on OS X, if you wanted to write a simple blend filter to blend three images given a mask, you would have to write several lines of code to sample from the sampler correctly, and then you would do the math to combine the three images.
If you use CI color kernel classes, the code becomes much simpler.
So now the input to the kernel is a sampler, underscore, underscore sample parameter, and the code for the kernel is just the math for mixing the three results.
So this is a great thing for developers.
It makes it easier.
It also makes the job for Core Image easier to simplify and concatenate programs.
We also have a lot of improvements to the CI kernel language are available on OS X.
Our unified implementation when we compile CI kernel language into the destination context language, we do that using LLVM technology at Apple.
And what this this has given us is new features in our language, such as If, For, and While, that were not previously available.
CI kernels in existing apps should work fine.
However, with the new compiler we have stricter warnings so if your app is linked against El Capitan or later, keep a look out for any compiler warnings.
As an example of this, here is a simple example of a kernel that wasn't possible before, on OS X using kernel language, and that's because this particular filter has an input parameter, which is a count.
And we want to have a For loop inside this kernel that loops based on that count variable.
In this particular example, we're trying to do a motion blur along a vector for n points.
And this is now a trivial kernel to write.
You can get fancier, and you can have a For loop with an early exit.
In this case, we are sampling from that image until we get to an area of the image that is not opaque, and then we break out of the For loop and return the average color of only the colors that are in the image.
So one thing to keep in mind is with our kernel language is what are our overall goals of this language are.
What we want to do is enable you to write kernels once and have them run regardless of the device that your kernels are running on.
So it will run independent of what system you are running on, whether iOS or OS X, what size your input image is.
The CI kernel language has support for destination core to sampler transforms so we can support automatic tiling of images.
And the CI kernel language works independent of what our back-end renderer is, so whether we are using Metal, or OpenCL, or OpenGL, or OpenGL ES, you can write your algorithms in the CI kernel language once.
So that's the highlights of what's new in Core Image this year.
The next subject we would like to talk about is how to bridge Core Image with other frameworks.
Specifically, some of the wealth of other great graphics frameworks available on our platform.
We have great imaging frameworks on our platform such as Core Animation, SceneKit, SpriteKit, Metal, AV Foundation, IOSurfaces, and various View classes.
We spent a lot of time this year trying to make these work right together with Core Image.
So to start that discussion, I would like to introduce Tony Chu, who will be talking about Core Image and Metal in more detail.
[ Applause ]
TONY CHU: Thank you, David.
Good morning, my name is Tony and I would like to first tell you about a little bit more about Core Image and Metal.
So as David mentioned earlier, this year we have added support for rendering with Metal in Core Image, and one of the reasons we did that is to add to our extensive suite of supported image types such as IOSurface and CGImag,e all of which can be used as inputs or outputs to a CI filter regardless of the type of CIContext you have.
But if you have an OpenGL-based CIContext, you can also render to and from OpenGL textures.
And now this year if you have a Metal-based CIContext, you can also render to and from Metal Textures.
Previously, without this support you would have had to convert a Metal Texture to one of the existing image types, which would have likely incurred an expensive data copy between the CPU and GPU.
With proper support we can render to and from these resources very efficiently.
Let's take a look at some of the new APIs we have available for Metal support in Core Image.
The first is an API that allows you to initialize a CI image with an input Metal Texture as well as an optional dictionary where you can specify things such as the color space that that texture it tagged with.
That's an example of one of the advantages of using a higher-level framework, such as Core Image, is that it will take care of details such as color management automatically for you.
Then, in order to do rendering with these Metal-based resources, you will want to create a new CIContext that is a Metal-based CIContext by giving it the Metal device your application is using.
And, again, you can specify an options dictionary for things such as working color space or working floor mat for intermediate buffers or even, you can even declare that you want to use a low-priority GPU.
In any case, with this new Metal-based CIContext, we have the new render API that allows you to render any CI image to an output Metal Texture.
And one of the nice features I want to call out about this API is the ability to specify optional command buffer.
If you want things nice and simple, you can specify nil and in that case Core Image will create one internally and code all the necessary commands to it and then commit it before returning, which will then effectively schedule that render call on the GPU.
But you can also provide a command buffer to that call, and in that case Core Image will merely encode commands to it and return without committing it.
What that gives you is full control on how you want to schedule your command buffer for rendering on the GPU as well as the flexibility to insert CI filters anywhere into a command buffer.
So let me explain that in a little bit more detail.
For those who are new to Metal, rendering with Metal basically involves encoding a series of render commands to a command buffer.
In this case, we have two sets of commands.
And with that new API that we just saw, you can now insert that CI filter anywhere into this command buffer such as at the very beginning or at the very end, or even right in the very middle between these two render commands.
So you can imagine this might be a situation where you want to do some draw, cause, and render to some texture and then feed the texture into a series of CI filters, generate some output texture from that, and do more rendering with it.
And internally, Core Image will then encode all the commands for each filter you may have in your image graph.
And in fact, as David mentioned earlier, some of our built-in filters will use Metal performance shaders to take advantage of these highly optimized shaders specifically tuned for Metal-capable devices.
And lastly, I want to mention that this type of calling convention lends itself perfectly to be able to use CI to render directly to a MetalKit view.
So to explain that further, I would like to show you sample code.
So this is sample code that you would have to write if you were to create a new application based on the new MetalKit framework.
The first thing you need to do is to do a couple of things in this when you want to set up the view.
The first key thing is to specify the Frame Buffer Only property on that view to False, which will allow Core Image to use Metal compute shaders to render to that view's output texture.
The next thing you want to do is initialize the CIContext with a Metal device.
You want to do that here because initializing a CIContext is something you only want to do once in an application.
Then, in the Draw and View Delegate function, this is the code you would need to write in order to render some CI filters through that view.
So let me step you through this line by line.
First thing is, you create a command buffer that will eventually be used to present the drawable with.
Then we are going to initialize a CI image with some given input Metal Texture.
Now, this CI image could come by other means, for example, some of the other image types we have, like a CGImage.
But in this case we will just show you how to use our new API.
But then once you have a CI image, you can chain together a series of CI filters to it.
In this case, we will apply a CI Gaussian Blur filter.
Then, once you have your CI image that you want to render, you want to grab the texture currently bound to that view's current drawable and render the CI image to that texture with the command buffer we want to use here.
Then finally, once we have encoded the render commands there is one more Metal command that you need to insert at the command buffer, and that's to present the view's current drawable.
And then you just call Commit on that buffer.
That is how easy it is to integrate some Core Image filters into a MetalKit application.
So next I would like to talk about bridging Core Image and AV Foundation.
So with the latest changes we have this year in both of these frameworks, it is now easy to add Core Image filters to your AV Foundation app, and that's because Core Image is now conveniently integrated with the AVVideoComposition class.
And by default you would get automatic color management, but if you don't need it, you can disable it.
So we will take a look at a couple of examples on how to apply CI filters to videos.
First in the context of exporting the video and next during live playback of a video.
So for the purpose of demonstrating these examples, we are going to use a filter that we showed you a couple of years ago at WWDC.
And this is a filter where for every frame of the video image, we are going to first apply a sepia tone filter to it along with some random noise, and then finally some vertical scratches overlaid on top of it.
For those who may recall, this is the old film filter that we showed you from a couple of years ago at WWDC.
This filter is very straightforward, all it takes is a single input image as well as an input time parameter, which will allow you to apply the effect to the video in a repeatable way with deterministic results.
So let's get back to how we would apply this filter during exporting of that video.
What you need to do first is create a filtered composition, giving it the AV asset that you want to export as well as a callback block in which you can specify a filter recipe to be applied as each frame of the video is being rendered.
And from this callback block, we will get a request object as an input parameter from which you can get the composition time as well as the source image for chaining together your CI filters.
And then once you have your filtered CI image, you then call Finish With Image on the request object.
You can pass in a nil context to that call, and the AVVideoComposition would create a CIContext by default, which, as I mentioned earlier, will get automatic color management.
If you want to disable that, all you need to do is create a CIContext on your own and specify a null color working space and pass that into that Finish With Image call.
Now, that filter we just showed you is a pretty simple filter that has no convolution filters involved.
But in the case where you do have convolution filters, one thing you want to watch out for is an undesirable result where you get clear pixels bleeding into the edges of that image.
To fix that, we have a pretty simple recipe that we use in a lot of cases such as that one.
The first thing you want to do is with the source image that you have, that you want to apply the convolution filter to it, you want to call image by clamping to extent.
It will edge replicate all of the pixels along the edge of that image to infinity.
And by doing that, you will no longer have the problem of clear pixels bleeding into the image as you are applying the filter.
Because by doing that you end up with an infinite image, at the very end of applying the filter you want to add image by cropping the rect in order to crop that image back into the source image's extent.
By applying that simple recipe, you will get a much cleaner look with nice, crisp, sharp borders on the edge.
So once we have that AVVideoComposition, if we want to create an export session in order to export a video, and you do that by creating this AV export session and specify an output URL location to which you want to export as well as the video composition that we just created.
And one thing to keep in mind is you might want to you want to call Remove Item at URL to remove any item that might already exist at that output location.
Once you have done that, then you can call Export Asynchronously on that export session, which will then kick off a process to export that video and apply all of the CI filters to every single frame of your video.
If you wanted to update some progress on your UI to show the progress of that export, you can use the Composition Time parameter in your callback block to update such a UI element.
So now that was exporting.
For playing back an AV asset, the code that you would need to write is actually very similar.
Creating the video composition is exactly the same code we saw earlier.
The only difference now is instead of creating an export session, you need to create an AVPlayerItem with that AV asset along with the video composition we just created and then create an AVPlayer with that player item and then call Play on your player.
So I'm going to now show you a video of how we are applying that old film filter to an AV asset during playback.
So one thing to notice here is as you are scrubbing back this video, you can see the same effect being applied in a repeatable way with deterministic results.
So that is Core Image and AV Foundation interoperating together very efficiently.
Next, I would like to call up Alex to tell you a little bit more about Core Image providers.
[ Applause ]
ALEXANDRE NAAMAN: Thank you, Tony.
My name is Alexandre Naaman and I will talk about Core Image providers and then we will talk about more APIs we have on the system and STKs and how they can work with Core Image to create interesting applications.
Let's start with CIImageProvider, which is a category we had on CI image that existed previously just on OS X but now exists also on iOS as part of our unified implementation.
It's a great way for you to bring input images into your system that wouldn't be able to be done otherwise.
So, for example, if you had a file format that wasn't supported and you wanted to somehow create a CI image that was based on that, or if you had data that was streaming from some site and you wanted to create a CI image, you could use a CIImageProvider.
They are implemented via callbacks.
It's all done lazily, and we will call you and tell you when we need to fill in the data and you get automatic tiling and we handle the purgability and caching for you.
Let's take a look at how this is done.
First things first, you will create your own class.
In this case, we will create one called tile provider.
And then we create a CI image with that tile provider, and in addition to that, we give it the size of the image we are trying to create, whatever format we would like to use to create for this image, a color space optionally, and in this case we will give the tile size in the options dictionary.
Now, in order to use this, all we have to do is implement a method called Provide Image Data, and Core Image will call you and ask you to fill in this information.
And you have to fill in that data pointer with a given row bytes value, a certain location in X and Y, width and height, and you can tag some user info if you would like as well.
That's all you need to do in order to implement your own image providers.
Now, let's talk about the various view classes that we have that you can use with Core Image on both iOS and OS X.
So we have a broad spectrum of support for rendering with Core Image on a system ranging from the very high level, such as UIImageView, which makes it very easy to render an image that's been applied with a Core Image effect.
And going to the much more low-level and potentially higher performance APIs such as GLKView or MTK view, which give you more fine-grain control over what you are doing.
So let's take a look at UIImageView.
UIImageView is probably the simplest way to display a CI image on iOS, and all you have to do is on your UIImageView, set the Image property to a UI image in this case, one based on a CI image.
The problem is, although this is very easy to use, it's not the most high-performance method of doing so.
So what ends up happening is we have to render that back onto the CPU and send it back up to the GPU, so it's not as efficient as possible.
And if we take a look at a simple example, in this case we will run a pixelate filter using a UIImageView.
We see that we get about 20 frames per second on a Retina-sized image with this effect being applied.
Now, if we switch to an OpenGL ES-based view and apply the same filter, we can see that now we get 48 frames per second.
And if we go one step further and do a Metal-based view, we get slight improvement here.
We get 52 frames per second.
And although this isn't great we are only applying one filter, and so the advantages that we get aren't as noticeable as we would get if we had many filters being applied or if we had a bunch of smaller renders.
But the basic idea is there.
So now, let's take a look at Core Image and Core Animation and how we can make those work well together.
This is one of the few instances where we do have differences between iOS and OS X.
On OS X, we can just apply, we just have to do two things in order to use Core Image and Core Animation together.
First things first, on your NSview, all you need to do is say view.layer uses Core Image filters and set that to True and then optionally specify an array of filters you would like to be applied to whatever layer you have.
And that's really all you need to do.
On iOS, we don't have that support, so instead what you could do is OpenGL directly.
You can do that either by deriving from GLKView or by creating a UIView and ensuring that you override the layer class method and returning CA Eagle layer.self.
And when you do that, then you get a GL ES-based object that you can use to create your CIContext.
And that will ensure that you get optimal performance.
All of that is great, but one thing you need to keep into mind is that if you want to get great performance, it's not just a question of using the best API, but using it efficiently.
And in this case, the number one thing you have to remember is to only create your CIContext once because that's where the caching takes place and a bunch of state is held.
So keep that in mind when you're using the lower-level APIs.
Now, I would like to talk about Core Image on IOSurface.
Internally, within the Core Image implementation, we use IOSurface extensively.
We love it as an API because it provides us with a bunch of functionality that doesn't exist with any other API on the system.
So mainly we have great purgability, some locking semantics so we can get data in and out of IOSurfaces, and it's a great way to move data between CPU and GPU and vice versa.
We have an incredibly broad spectrum of support for different formats, we think probably some of the best on the entire system.
For example, we have 420, 444, RGBA half float, and many others.
Now, on iOS, as a developer it's difficult to use IOSurface directly, but you can inform Core Image that you would like to use IOSurface by creating Pixel Buffers that have the KCV pixel buffer IOSurface property key specified.
When you do that, so if you create a CV Image from a CV Pixel Buffer that has this key, what ends up happening internally is that Core Image knows that it's an IOSurface-backed CV Pixel Buffer and we can render as efficiently as possible.
So, this is something to keep in mind if you want to get all the benefits of IOSurface on iOS.
Next I'd like to talk about a few other APIs.
We will go over examples of how we can actually use Core Image and STKs together to create sample applications very simply.
So we are going to start off with SpriteKit.
If we start in XCode and create a new application, we choose Game, and then we will choose as a game technology SpriteKit.
And we just build and run, we will get this application, which as you tap on the screen you get new ships showing up, and you can see here we are getting 60 frames a second.
We can now with a very small amount of code add Core Image to this application.
So in this case, we will go and modify the Touches Began method inside of GameScene.swift, and initially what was happening was for every tap it was adding that sprite to the root node.
We will modify that a bit, and we will use an SK effect node.
An SK effect node renders the entire contexts into a buffer, which you can then apply a series of filters to.
So we put an SK effect node.
Instead of adding our sprite that we had earlier to the root, we will add it to the effect.
We will say we want to enable some effects, we are going to create a filter, in this case we are going to use a pixelate filter, which is the same one we were viewing earlier.
And then we will add that effect to the root.
That is all we need to do.
This is the exact code you would write if you wanted to add Core Image to a SpriteKit application.
And if we now run that exact same sample that we had and start tapping away, we get beautifully pixelated sprites in our application and running at pretty much the same frame rate.
Now, let's talk a little bit about SceneKit.
We will create an application from Start, and we will choose SceneKit as a game technology.
If we just build and run this app, we get this spaceship that just rotates around at interactive rates.
Now, if we want to add Core Image to this application, all we have to do is go to the View Did Load method in GameViewController.swift, find the ship, which is aligned in the sample code.
We then create, once again, the pixelated filter, and we specify an optional array of filters to the ship.
If we do that and run, we get a beautifully pixelated ship.
So you can apply this to any node in your scene, and, again, we get great frame rate.
One of the big advantages of using SceneKit alongside Core Image is you can animate properties with Core Animation.
So in this case, we are just going to create a CA basic animation, and we are going to animate the input scale, so we are going to get a varying scale pixelate effect that will be applied over time going from a value of 0 to 50.
It will ease in and ease out over the course of two seconds.
If we add this code, we then get our ship with a beautifully animated pixelate effect.
And, again, great frame rates.
Now, this doesn't necessarily have to be applied to one node.
You can apply it to your entire scene.
Here we have a sample that we shipped that you can download called Bananas, where we have applied the same effect along with animation and we are changing the pixelate scale in real time here.
I was surprised that I could play this game better when it was pixelated than when it was full-res.
But you could use this not just to create games but to also apply an effect at the end of the game, for example, or if you wanted to have different versions of your assets rendered with different image processing effects, you could use Core Image with these APIs together and it works great.
So, so far today we have seen a bunch of stuff about how to use Core Image with Metal, AV Foundation, why IOSurface is so important to us.
The easy way to use UIImageView if you are only creating an image once and don't need to constantly update.
It's a great way to apply an effect once.
We showed you how to use Core Animation as well, how to bring in custom data with CIImageProvider, and how to use it in the context of games or other applications that you can create very simply with SceneKit or SpriteKit.
For additional information, we have a bunch of resources available online at developer.apple.com, and for any additional inquiries you can contact Stephen Chick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are other sessions you may be interested in going to, including the Editing Movies in AV Foundation which took place a few days ago but you can look at online and What's New in Metal Part 2 that also took place yesterday.
And on that note, I would like to thank you all for coming and I hope you enjoy using Core Image in your applications, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the conference.
Thank you very much!
[ Applause ]