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  #11 (permalink)  
Old June 22, 2008, 09:30 AM
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For those of you who don't know about ray-tracing: DirectX 11 is rumored to support raytracing. Raytracing is the process of tracing a "ray" of light (each pixel on your screen) back to it's original source, with regard to the material it's being reflected/refracted off of, and also the medium it passes thru (water, glass, air, haze, etc.). Sometimes the ray is partially reflected so you get 2 or more ray sources (think glass or water reflections). With raytracing, games will have the "broken pencil in glass of water" effect, and a whole host of other things that will be closer to realism.

Raytracing is used by almost all the CGI studios to make movies look more realistic. Shaders and etc. are poor tecniques to make 3D graphics, but they don't require a lot of gigaflops of processing power.

There are 2 major benefits to raytracing:
1. Things look a lot more realistic.
2. When raytracing is used, the amount of extra processing power required to render a scene decreases rapidly (at the same resolution) as you add detail, but will keep on increasing linearly if current-day shaders are used. In the future, with ultra-complex scenes, raytracing may prove to be more efficient than shaders.

#2 is really hard to comprehend, but to simplify this, remember that the amout of "rays" is only equal to the resolution. So putting in more scene detail will eventually be a lot less stressful when one uses raytracing compared to shaders. Google it if you don't believe me.
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Old August 15, 2008, 09:54 AM
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And nVidia joins the party:

During SIGGRAPH 2008 in Los Angeles NVIDIA is demonstrating a fully interactive GPU-based ray tracer. The demo is based purely on NVIDIA GPU technology, and according to NVIDIA the ray tracer shows linear scaling while rendering a complex, two-million polygon, anti-aliased automotive styling application. Screenshots from the actual demo are shown here.

Source: NVIDIA Shows Interactive Ray Tracing on GPUs - HotHardware

It's funny that they changed their mind so fast.
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Old August 15, 2008, 11:33 AM
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Well nehalem is also rumored to have a native 8 core CPU with hyper threading so that mean 16 cores. I can see in 2 years this to be in some kind of game but more like 5 or so years till it becomes in a few games because most people in 5 years might still be running a dual core comp or even a P4 comp. So give it some time. We might see some cool demos and maybe 1 game but lets say 2 years from now the cost to make a game like that plus the limited to maybe a few thousand computers that have a 16 core CPU would not make it worth it. Although I have high hopes for this technology and that is pretty good running all that off of a CPU. Now when you combine a CPU and GPU then it will be crazy!
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Old August 15, 2008, 02:15 PM
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Raytracing is one thing, adds realism, nice reflections nice look, but low poly count on those images lol that kinda takes away the realism.

We are a long way to go before we see realtime raytracing in games at decent frame rates, let alone half decent.......... I can see it right now, the NVIDIA RayForce T-6000 2 full length PCI-e 3.1 and mandatory freon cooling, running Microsoft DX14 & OpenGL 4.0!

Much cheaper to pre-render scenes or develop advanced engines that can blend pre-rendered scenes with live action - I can see it right now NVIDIA releasing RayX, the next generation of RayTracing acceleration - it would do to games what PhysX once did :-)))

With current LCD technology and the high native res, I don't see realtime raytracing at decent frame rates possible for a very very long time. now maybe someone on the net has made some special HACK to enable RayTracing on your GeForce, maybe a hidden, undocumented feature that was there all along :D
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Old August 15, 2008, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belgolas View Post
We might see some cool demos and maybe 1 game but lets say 2 years from now the cost to make a game like that plus the limited to maybe a few thousand computers that have a 16 core CPU would not make it worth it.
Actually, ray tracing should be easier to do for the developers. Instead of researching and testing on rasterization methods and techniques, they can spend the time to work on other parts of the game, or just release the game faster.
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Old August 15, 2008, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman-Spiff View Post
Actually, ray tracing should be easier to do for the developers. Instead of researching and testing on rasterization methods and techniques, they can spend the time to work on other parts of the game, or just release the game faster.
But still developers are not going to make games for a very small market. Give it 5-10 years.
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Old August 17, 2008, 06:43 PM
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I think you guys are under-estimating the computational requirements of ray-tracing. Like I said before, Once you can play a game at 25 fps at 1024x768, doubling the scene details would probably only drop your fps to 17-20. Triple the details and you get ~15 fps.

In the long-run, the benefits of ray-tracing are going to outweigh the disadvantages by a very, very large amount.
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