...is modifying the value of a batch of ATTR_light_level tris comparable [performance-wise] with toggling the state of a backlit generic instrument? Instinct tells me that you must have the latter more streamlined than the former, but maybe not?
He is right: in the current implementation, ATTR_light_level is probably a bit more expensive than using generic instruments. This may not be true in the future though.
- The generic instrument code is pretty tight.
- Right now ATTR_light_level sometimes has to adjust shaders, which can be expensive.
- In the future, ATTR_light_level has the potential to be very heavily optimized, while the generic instrument code will always be CPU based.
Perhaps other questions are important when picking ATTR_light_level vs. panel texture:
- Which is more useful: to be able to have several variant images and variant images that are not "lights" (this is only possible by generics) or the ability to vary the light level gradually and not just have on or off (this is only possible with ATTR_light_level)?
- Which is simpler to author given the rest of the panel?