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Almost one year has passed since raytracing was introduced by Nvidia/Microsoft. Are we still expecting this to be the next big thing? (I hope so)

Caleb187

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
110
Colorado
Not enough RT cores right now. A 2080Ti can output 60fps with partial raytracing in a scene. It's a good start but I know I'm not willing to dish out $1300 for that.
 

Filipus

Avenger
Dec 7, 2017
1,376
With next gen consoles supporting it (hardware or software implementations) I believe we will see most AAA games using Ray tracing in the next few years.
 

cooldawn

Member
Oct 28, 2017
797
Developers have done such a great job over the years of imitating RT that I'm not convinced that RT is something worth pursuing at this point.
I'm not a PC gamer but I am worried about RT hijacking the rest of a console system. Of course there's a lot more to it but those JackFrag's RT video's for Battlefield V were just a bit...naff.

I'm excited about using the technology for global illumination, I mean proper light-bounce and all that it encompasses but reflections looks to way too linear. In other words it doesn't fool me in to thinking it's a natural scene.

I guess, come PlayStation 5, I'll see how well it can work across 1st party studio's and go from there.
 

Rushersauce

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,628
It's the next big thing that will take a loooot of time to be implemented. Hell, I remember being so excited for POM, and even that took time to get widely adopted.

Also, unpopular opinion, but adding RT for the sake of adding RT is stupid. Quake 2 RT looks and performs like shit.
 

Rion

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,730
I think the killer for people people who think RT is too expensive is that 1080p/30fps is too low for their tastes
That’s just what I play at on my PC and it’s to target 60fps. 4k or even CB 4k / 30fps with RT on next gen games should be possible on PS5/XB2 with their 10-12tflop GPU’s (closer to 12-14tflops on the old GPU architectures) and hardware accelerated RT’s.
 

Landford

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,370
Its the new bloom and chromatic aberration. People use it because everyone else is using it. Every implementation I saw so far makes things really off.

Not to mention it just destroys performance.
 

Glass Arrows

Member
Jan 10, 2019
1,413
The main problem with RT at the moment is that it's ridiculously expensive and really chews through performance.

In turn this makes me wonder about how powerful the support for RT is inside the PS5 and Scarlett. Only so much they can do atm while keeping the consoles affordable.

I think ray-tracing will only really take off when it becomes more affordable.
 

Crossing Eden

Member
Oct 26, 2017
19,438
Developers have done such a great job over the years of imitating RT that I'm not convinced that RT is something worth pursuing at this point.
Ray tracing would completely change the behavior of lights though. The difference would become immediately noticeable just like games that have a PBR workflow and games that don't.
 

Poison Jam

Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,799
Ray tracing would completely change the behavior of lights though. The difference would become immediately noticeable just like games that have a PBR workflow and games that don't.
Not to mention the potential reduction in development time and file-size by not having to make pre-baked light-maps.

It's the future for sure and I can't wait to see the evolution of it. I'm very interested in seeing how capable the consoles will be, and I hope they'll do wonders for furthering optimisation and development of RT tech.
 

HTupolev

Member
Oct 27, 2017
725
So it's almost been a year since Nvidia and Microsoft launched their Raytracing hardware (Turing) and software (DirectX).
Since then, a handful of compatible games have been released, together with some community made mods for existing games.

I know new technology takes time, but I can't help but feel like adoption is very slow.
What are you expecting "adoption" to look like?

Ray tracing is a tool, not a visual effect.

Video games are large development projects that can take several years to turn around, and deep integration of tools often requires commitment to those tools early in the development process. For many games coming out right now, any seriously interesting use of the new ray tracing APIs would have required adopting them several years ago. And even if a developer had that option, it would have meant taking a risk, because today's consumer adoption of the new technology would have been unknown at the time (and currently still remains low!).

Adoption after one year means little. Loads of extremely exciting things go by mostly-unnoticed for a while, and then suddenly explode when a few barriers fall and the market catches up.
 

Crossing Eden

Member
Oct 26, 2017
19,438
Its the new bloom and chromatic aberration. People use it because everyone else is using it. Every implementation I saw so far makes things really off.

Not to mention it just destroys performance.
I frankly don't think you understand what raytracing actually does if you're comparing it to bloom or chromatic aberration. Note that even the most impressive shots in current gen games don't even come close to touching offline renders, lighting limitations are a big part of that. Raytracing in realtime is pretty much the only way to move forward.

Adoption after one year means little. Loads of extremely exciting things go by mostly-unnoticed for a while, and then suddenly explode when a few barriers fall and the market catches up.
For example, there was a time when Heavenly Sword was the only game with full performance capture. Now look at how prevalently it's used for AAA games.
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,584
Those work in conjunction. Raytracing itself works on a per pixel level afterall.
The output is completely unusable without the de-noising process, and current games have issues with things like shadows lagging behind gameplay by several frames due to it.
That's why I was questioning whether it was viable at all, since my understanding was that temporal-based filtering of the image was not compatible with VR at all.

On Metro Exodus I can get 60fps at 1080p/High settings with RT turned on with a 2070. It’s really not as computationally expensive as some people make out.
RT will be in most 30fps AAA games on the next set of consoles imo because their GPU’s will be even more powerful than my 2070.
You're reduced to playing games at 1080p on a $500+ video card, and only at 60 FPS. That's expensive.
The cost of ray tracing goes up significantly as resolution increases, and most people buying mid-range to high-end cards are used to 1440p at 120 FPS or higher - which is about 3.5x more pixels per second.

My understanding is that one of the issues with RT right now is a "fixed-time cost" which is why it's really only feasible to achieve ~60 FPS on current generation products, and why more RT Cores gets you higher resolution support but doesn't scale frame rate the same way if you stick to lower resolutions.
I don't think it's realistically possible in just one generation, but if they were able to double the speed of the RT cores, and (at least) double the number of cores in future products, then it starts to become viable in games at current refresh rates and resolutions.
Adding more RT cores is probably "easy" to do, but speeding them up is the challenge. Then again, it is a first-generation product right now so there's probably a lot of room for improvement.

I want to see raytraced audio in action and how demanding is it
Ray-traced audio on the GPU should be a relatively small performance impact, and won't require RT hardware.
Aureal was doing ray-traced audio with their sound cards in the '90s.
 
Oct 28, 2017
3,311
RT will be in most 30fps AAA games on the next set of consoles imo because their GPU’s will be even more powerful than my 2070.
Sure about that? The GPU in a PS4 barely scratches the performance of a 7870 HD and it was released a year after that GPU. Unless they're slamming raytracing specific hardware into the next gen of consoles (which will of course bloat the price past the horizon), you're gonna get nowhere. Seen the performance of raytracing on the 1000 Nvidia models when that update happened? Its atrocious.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,820
Florida.
User Warned: Antagonizing other members
Its the new bloom and chromatic aberration. People use it because everyone else is using it. Every implementation I saw so far makes things really off.

Not to mention it just destroys performance.
Not sure if you're serious, but if you are, I don't think you realize how embarrassingly dumb this take is, you should probably avoid offering your opinion while you're completely clueless.
Pixel Shaders weren't a thing for the vast majority of games in the year of 2000. Now they're eveywhere. Just wait. Raytracing will be in Wolfenstein Youngblood, Control, Cyberpunk 2077, Mechwarrior 5 and Watch Dogs Legion, we're slowly getting there.
People who are skeptical of ray tracing aren't going to know what pixel shading is.
 
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Tagyhag

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,430
It absolutely is still the next big thing.

It's not going to be standard for a loooooong time, don't get me wrong. But technology always advances, and while games struggle to run it now, hardware will eventually catch up.

But it's such a big leap, that there's no way it's going to be something that's abandoned. Look at Ray-Traced Minecraft, it's stunning.

It's something that devs can take advantage of, especially if they ever want to port or remaster older games.
 

Ametroid

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,600
Ray-traced audio on the GPU should be a relatively small performance impact, and won't require RT hardware.
Aureal was doing ray-traced audio with their sound cards in the '90s.
Oh, how comes they didn't put it in games all this then and now they're adding raytraced audio as a selling point like the new cod
 

Alucardx23

Member
Nov 8, 2017
1,376
Its the new bloom and chromatic aberration. People use it because everyone else is using it. Every implementation I saw so far makes things really off.

Not to mention it just destroys performance.
Yikes, what a post. That would be like saying that Polygons are being used because everybody uses them. Developers kill themselves on every game trying to make lighting look right, all of that is going away with Ray Tracing. It will be a new standard going forward.
 
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Kyoufu

Member
Oct 26, 2017
10,509
Only mainstream mass adoption can make it the next big thing, and high-end, expensive Nvidia GPUs ain't gonna achieve that.
 

Spark

Member
Dec 6, 2017
301
Only mainstream mass adoption can make it the next big thing, and high-end, expensive Nvidia GPUs ain't gonna achieve that.
Mainstream adoption is a certainty, it's only a matter of when. And even the current niche adoption will receive tons of support, as developers will need to ship products using this tech before it hits the mainstream to refine their skills. Whoever is late to the party now will suffer later on.
 

Tahnit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,679
Its the new bloom and chromatic aberration. People use it because everyone else is using it. Every implementation I saw so far makes things really off.

Not to mention it just destroys performance.
actually its everything else now that feels really off. Because raytracing is literally tracing rays of light. It is perfect because that is how light works. Raytracing is the most accurate form of lighting and reflections by its very name alone. Period.
 
Nov 8, 2017
3,818
With consoles adopting it we will undoubtedly see more performant implementations than the 1st gen ones we've had on PC so far, but it will be limited in scope and possibly less accurate too. I'm happy they're getting something on that front though.
 

Arthands

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,919
adoption is slow because RTX graphic card is expensive as fuck. But it is definitely going to be the next big thing since its part of the graphic technology upgrade.
 

Landford

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,370
I frankly don't think you understand what raytracing actually does if you're comparing it to bloom or chromatic aberration. Note that even the most impressive shots in current gen games don't even come close to touching offline renders, lighting limitations are a big part of that. Raytracing in realtime is pretty much the only way to move forward.


For example, there was a time when Heavenly Sword was the only game with full performance capture. Now look at how prevalently it's used for AAA games.
I'll answer to you instead of everyone because I probably didn't express myself in a very good manner. Yes, Raytracing IS pretty and adds something to a game, but what I meant is that it's starting to get in a situation where developers are rushing to add it and implement it just for the sake of doing so, just like it happened with bloom and CA, games that had no reason to use the stuff started putting it there to not look "outdated".

I honestly look forward to CP2077 implementation of it because its a game that has somewhat a "mood" for it. Personally, what i saw so far adds very little to a scene (BFV, Metro Exodus) that I couldn't ever in my right mind turn it on just for that minimal effect.

I didn't mean to sound condescending with the tech, but I can see how that could actually be seen as such. Apologies!

Edit:

Not sure if you're serious, but if you are, I don't think you realize how embarrassingly dumb this take is, you should probably avoid offering your opinion while you're completely clueless.
Perhaps I shouldn't have to apologize. What the fuck did I do to you?
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,584
actually its everything else now that feels really off. Because raytracing is literally tracing rays of light. It is perfect because that is how light works. Raytracing is the most accurate form of lighting and reflections by its very name alone. Period.
Ray-tracing is not a "perfect" solution. Path-tracing superseded ray-tracing a long time ago for rendering, as it is a simulation of how light behaves. Ray-tracing still "cheats" but not to the same extent as rasterization.

Oh, how comes they didn't put it in games all this then and now they're adding raytraced audio as a selling point like the new cod
Audio has always been a low priority for game developers, and really only seemed to get any attention at all back when sound cards were mainstream and Creative Labs and others were trying to sell cards based on their features - likely with funding to encourage their inclusion.
AMD introduced the TrueAudio DSP on their GPUs back in 2013 and basically nothing used it. It's in the PlayStation 4 (and Xbox One?) consoles too, and doesn't appear to be used for anything. They even have headsets with their own DSP in them, and I believe the PSVR break-out box has its own audio processing too, when it should be possible to use the TrueAudio DSP for that.

VR seems to have put some attention on improving audio, as it makes the deficiencies in game audio more noticeable.
NVIDIA released VRWorks path-traced audio over two years ago now, but I don't know of anything which uses it.

It seems like next-gen may see ray-traced/path-traced audio become more mainstream, as it's one of the easy ways for consoles to implement "ray tracing" in their games at a low cost.
 

Alucardx23

Member
Nov 8, 2017
1,376
I'll answer to you instead of everyone because I probably didn't express myself in a very good manner. Yes, Raytracing IS pretty and adds something to a game, but what I meant is that it's starting to get in a situation where developers are rushing to add it and implement it just for the sake of doing so, just like it happened with bloom and CA, games that had no reason to use the stuff started putting it there to not look "outdated".

I honestly look forward to CP2077 implementation of it because its a game that has somewhat a "mood" for it. Personally, what i saw so far adds very little to a scene (BFV, Metro Exodus) that I couldn't ever in my right mind turn it on just for that minimal effect.

I didn't mean to sound condescending with the tech, but I can see how that could actually be seen as such. Apologies!
Using that logic the first games that started to use polygons, textures, animations, etc. shouldn't have come out as well. Things have to start somewhere. Developers have to test and learn how to use ray tracing, just like any other technique, until they get to something you would say looks good. You need to understand that Ray Tracing is not just some lens flare or bloom equivalent and will become a fundamental rendering technique like Polygons are today.
 

HTupolev

Member
Oct 27, 2017
725
Ray-tracing is not a "perfect" solution. Path-tracing superseded ray-tracing a long time ago for rendering, as it is a simulation of how light behaves. Ray-tracing still "cheats" but not to the same extent as rasterization.
I dislike this way of distinguishing the terms, as it's usually poorly-defined and tends to confuse people. When people say that path-tracing has superseded ray-tracing, they usually mean "path-tracing has superseded the ray-traced lighting algorithm that Whitted published in 1979" or something along those lines, which is kind of arbitrary.

The phrase "ray tracing" is also often used to refer to the process of casting rays and determining intersections in general, and this includes when people talk about modern ray-tracing hardware acceleration. Using this definition of ray tracing, path tracing does not supersede ray tracing, rather it's an algorithm that uses ray tracing.
 

Crossing Eden

Member
Oct 26, 2017
19,438
I'll answer to you instead of everyone because I probably didn't express myself in a very good manner. Yes, Raytracing IS pretty and adds something to a game, but what I meant is that it's starting to get in a situation where developers are rushing to add it and implement it just for the sake of doing so, just like it happened with bloom and CA, games that had no reason to use the stuff started putting it there to not look "outdated".
I mean it's such a massive step forward that yes there would be a significant difference between games that utilize it and games that don't.
 

FarisR

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,409
Not sure if it's the next big thing, but it is a natural step forward that will be happening eventually and be part of nearly everything (Same goes for HDR), whether that's in the immediate future or a while off from now remains to be seen. But it's likely a while off as I don't expect the consoles to be packing in super serious hardware for it, and the vast majority of people on PC won't have cards capable of handling it without bad performance for quite a while.
 

Akinsa

Member
Oct 28, 2017
778
Normal mapping was first invented back in 1998, and it took until around 2006 for games to adopt it (after they started to use more primitive bump mapping a few years earlier). These things take time, but eventually it will be difficult to find a 3D game that doesn’t use ray tracing in some fashion, since outside of performance and the amount of denoising that’s currently required it’s universally better then rasterization in basically every way.

In all high profile AAA games - sure.
In every game though? Nah. There will still be a lot of games which won't even use 3D rendering let alone raytracing.
By the time raytracing becomes a standard feature in game engines it’s likely that most 3D games will eventually use it for at least a few of the render passes, even if it’s just for AO. Like at that point it’s just a tick box - or even something enabled by default. There’s actually some scenarios where raytracing certain elements of the scene is actually faster then traditional rasterization - in those cases raytracing actually becomes an optimisation technique.

It won’t just be realistic looking AAA games either, since cartoony games can benefit from raytracing also - every CG animated film in the last 10-15 years or so has used raytracing in some capacity, just in a non-photorealistic manner.

2D games, probably not. But even then, since many 2D games actually run in 3D engines (such as Unity) and make use of certain 3D effects, even if it’s just lighting and particles or the placement of assets, they might eventually use raytracing as well if it improves the quality of the image in some form. And I suppose a decade or so from now many game engines will just drop their rasterization renderer completely since it’ll be considered a legacy feature at that point. From a code perspective raytracing is just a much more streamlined and simpler process then rasterization and the dozens of render hacks required to make it look good, so in some way it makes sense to drop it as soon as hardware becomes fast enough to run without a crazy performance hit (and without having to rely on aggressive denoising).
 

JDSpades

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,613
Raytracing will be the thing that’s touted when both next gen consoles are announced. I see a lot of cross gen games like Assassins Creed, Call of duty, etc. using raytracing as the biggest thing differentiating their current/next gen 2020 titles for example. We’ll see how it evolves over the course of the next decade though.
 
Oct 31, 2017
2,532
Sounds like a loaded question... But I'll answer anyway.

Yes, I'm expecting its use to increase over time, not to fade away.
But it's not a matter of "waiting months for devs to use it more". Right now it simply comes with a far too heavy hit on performances. It's the infancy of the technology.
It will take the next hardware iterations to become some sort of standard, not just "patience".
 

halfjoey

Member
Nov 26, 2017
278
Would be nice if there was a separate ray tracing add-in card to expand on your GPUs current ability. That way you wouldn’t need to upgrade GPUs as often to keep current on the growing requirements for ray trading.

Plus maybe it could be GPU brand agnostic.
 

ILikeFeet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
22,779
Would be nice if there was a separate ray tracing add-in card to expand on your GPUs current ability. That way you wouldn’t need to upgrade GPUs as often to keep current on the growing requirements for ray trading.

Plus maybe it could be GPU brand agnostic.
RT is already built into DX12 and Vulkan RT seems to still be in testing. as long as it adheres to those specs, RT will be brand agnostic
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,465
I'll be surprised if any of the upcoming games that support ray tracing actually work well on my laptop with an RTX 2060, I'll enable it to see how good it looks but don't expect the games to run well at all
 

Dennis8K

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,670
Yes. It is the technical development I am most excited for by far.

But it will be a loooooong time and several generations before we see it in full glory.
 

discotrigger

Member
Oct 25, 2017
269
I think people are taking early, unoptimized, and extreme ray-tracing implementations too seriously as a benchmark for what is required to get a good result. There are so many ways to make it cheaper and so many alternatives for many of the things people want raytracing for. With a hybrid approach, it's going to be achievable to a large extent on the PS5 and Scarlett. That is, so long as you don't expect anything that compares with an offline render at a high sample rate.

And, well, if anyone's going to innovate with future implementations of hybrid raytracing, you can be damned sure it's going to be the game devs who focus on consoles first. I mean, we already have so many refined rendering techniques aside from raytracing that are just barely out of the XB1's reach, and so don't appear commonly in games yet. I'm sure we'll see much better shadows, ambient occlusion, and voxel-based reflections that people will mistakenly assume rely on full-fat ray-tracing.
 

JahIthBer

Member
Jan 27, 2018
3,825
It will be the real next-gen feature that willd efien the whole generation just like PBR was for this gen.
PBR allowed to have accurate liek materials and surfaces with some ready to be reflective for example, without needing baked surfaces, so SSR works on them but it is very limited.
Now those same surfaces will reflect things not displayed on screen thanks to ray-tracing which not will represent a big eye candy feature but also a major gameplay feature since such offscreen reflections and shadows can make you discern enemies and vice versa.
I dunno if RT in it's early days will be as good as PBR, but more accurate reflections will be great indeed, RDR2, FFXV etc have horrible reflections on water.