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Old Sep 29, 2007, 12:59 PM   #1
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DaMack
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Default Raytracing revolution...

This is an awesome article about the end of rasterisation and how ray-tracing will take over in a few years.

It gives you an idea about how ray-tracing will improve graphics to a level you wouldn't believe.

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=455
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Old Sep 29, 2007, 01:45 PM   #2
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I just don't get ray tracing. Every pic I see looks like ass and I really cannot visually see what all the hub bub is about.
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Old Sep 29, 2007, 01:57 PM   #3
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I want a 32 core proc
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Old Sep 29, 2007, 02:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllexxisF1 View Post
I just don't get ray tracing. Every pic I see looks like ass and I really cannot visually see what all the hub bub is about.
The secret is in the details.

Say you make a scene 10 times more complex with the graphics techniques we use today you'd need ten times the power.

With ray-tracing because of the way it works you could increase the complexity of the scene ten times but only require twice the power.

GPU's double up in power every year so in effect you would have the potential to improve graphics ten times every year.

Now I know it seems insane that the amount of workload to improve graphics ten times every year is going to happen but the beauty of ray-tracing is that the computer does the work the developers do today.

It has a lot of advantages:

For one the graphics will be a LOT better, lighting is graphics the better the lighting the better the graphics.

Think CGI in movies.

Graphics will improve a LOT faster.

Surfaces will be more realistic(light will flow through glass and reflect from mirrors), shadows will be more realistic(ie the brighter the source of light the darker the shadow or if you stand further from a source of light the shadow will be smaller, during different times of the day the direction of the shadow will change etc).

The advantages that ray-tracing would bring to the table are flabbergasting the only problem is we don't have the power yet.

The screenshots don't do it justice at all.

Imagine trying to show the power of GPU's by showcasing Doom, it isn't very impressive when you consider where we've got to today.

When ray-tracing hits it's peak many years from now we're in for a surprise.
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Old Sep 29, 2007, 02:24 PM   #5
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ray tracing is a distant dream and has its own set of problems. maybe in 10++ years when we have 100+ core processors ray tracing that equals todays graphics might be feasible
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Old Sep 29, 2007, 02:47 PM   #6
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I don't see the point. What we have now is great looking already. With the recent advent of real-tiem cubmapping we have real-time and accurate reflections (not 100%, but the goal of CG is to look real, not be real, IE CHEATING). I figure we should just keep doing as much cheating as possible until we HAVE to stop. So far cheating's gotten us some incredibly good looking games, why give it up before it's done?
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Old Sep 29, 2007, 02:50 PM   #7
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Actually we'll have ray-tracing capability in 2009-2010.

Ray-tracing is more software based than anything if you intelligently use software you can get the same effect with a thousand times less processing power.

For example the first ray-tracing processors from Intel will have software that allows them to do the same work a processor 100 times as powerful can do.

The first entirely game based ray-tracing system is maximum 5 years away, Intel will probably deliver there's around the time larabee is released.

It's not a distant dream and the problems are few and far between nowadays.
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Old Sep 29, 2007, 02:54 PM   #8
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You know the "infintie view" effect when you look from one mirror to another. Well that room with the giant reflective spheres (lots of them) made me wonder:

Ray-tracing "to infinity"? How bad a hit to performance will that be?
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Old Sep 29, 2007, 02:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Swordmaster View Post
I don't see the point. What we have now is great looking already. With the recent advent of real-tiem cubmapping we have real-time and accurate reflections (not 100%, but the goal of CG is to look real, not be real, IE CHEATING). I figure we should just keep doing as much cheating as possible until we HAVE to stop. So far cheating's gotten us some incredibly good looking games, why give it up before it's done?
See thats the thing you can make rasterisation and ray tracing work together.

Imagine your CPU giving as much to in game graphics as your GPU.

So when you update your computer the graphics improve because of the GPU update and the CPU update too.

What it will basically mean is graphics improve a lot faster.

Aside from that though I think we're at the end of cheating, I don't see us improving much past Crysis.

There are three Crysis games all assumingly built on the same engine.

You'd figure they'd tweak the engine to the maximum for the last game so I reckon that will be the greatest looking game we see with rasterisation only.

After that games will have a combination of the two and eventually we will have ray-tracing only.

Rasterisation can give us Crysis level graphics but Ray-tracing can give us Lord of the Rings type graphics.
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Old Sep 29, 2007, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Swordmaster View Post
You know the "infintie view" effect when you look from one mirror to another. Well that room with the giant reflective spheres (lots of them) made me wonder:

Ray-tracing "to infinity"? How bad a hit to performance will that be?
Well the thing is the ray's effect is only visible for a while so you can limit the amount of reflections and refractions and reduce the processing power required a few thousand times.
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Old Sep 29, 2007, 03:03 PM   #11
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I'm not as against this as I seem, just skeptical of any real reason we should.

Safeguards will help me get over this fear of change though:

No raytracing past "x units". Shaders until you get close enough to actually see the detail (although at higher resolutions and in certain situations this could make things fugly I'm bettin').

And "x raytrace maximum". No infinite views. 10 or so bounces (mirror to mirror) and then it quits drawing. That's just a number from my head mind you, not a real calculated figure.


And LotR graphics are nigh impossible real time, it's a huge overstatement. That's not to say we won't see an improvement, it's just to say that we probably won't see much beyond Toy Story (in terms of tech, not "cartoonish looks"). It took anywhere from 2 hours to 2 days to render a single frame in LotR, and that was on a render farm (a bunch of computers made specifically to render CGI).

Regardless, I don't support this, but I'm not against it. I just don't see the need so I'll let it on its own until it shows me I should do otherwise.
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Old Sep 29, 2007, 03:33 PM   #12
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LOL I was a critic too but I worked on a ray tracing project about 3 years ago.

I became a firm believer.

I can remember taking a program and running it on my P4 and the program ran flawlessly but technologically it was impossible you needed a processor a thousand times more powerful than my P4 to run that program.

After I realised the kind of jumps we had made with software I was convinced it's a matter of years before we see something spectacular.

When using a lot of the software we've developed LOTR really isn't outlandish at all we're going to see it a lot sooner than most people think.

We're also going to have a lot more power in our hands than most people think as well, larabee is rated at 2 teraflops 40 times as powerful as a penryn processor.

The gaming industry is going to reach heights most people currently think impossible in the next decade.

It was a distant dream but thanks to software improvements it's a future certainty now.

It's a while off before we see something movie like in our games still but it's not as far off as some people seem to think.

The plus side of ray tracing is you can go nuts with details because once you have more than a million triangles the performance hit is negligable.

You can add 100 times as many triangles and not worry about performance.

If you added 100 times as many triangles with rasterisation you'd need hundred times as much power.

Makes me regret leaving my degree in the field to pursue financing I can see what I've been missing.

Last edited by DaMack : Sep 29, 2007 at 03:39 PM.
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Old Sep 29, 2007, 06:57 PM   #13
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Thanks for the link. interesting info there! +rep
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Old Sep 30, 2007, 02:00 AM   #14
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All well and good that things look pretty, but I'm still more concerned about things moving pretty. Not enough attention is spent on quality animation these days.

I mean, take The Witcher for example. The stills look great, and the rendering is pretty enough as it is. But the character movement whilst talking to NPCs? Horrible. Stiff, inorganic, unnatural movements that look bloody awful and completely destroy any real ability to suspend belief and make you think that you are looking at something made of flesh and bone.

Until animation and the physics that goes with them starts to look more natural, I think it's a waste of time trying to make something look more "statically" detailed.
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Old Sep 30, 2007, 12:20 PM   #15
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An oldie but a goodie:

Parthenon Renderer (GPU assisted global illumination renderer)

After a year of silence, there are new builds for this September!

I believe reflections are done in a quick precalculation pass then most of the lighting code is loaded as shader code and executed from the GPU.

Essentially this is software emulation that if reproduced and optimized in hardware would comfortably make it run in real time. Traditional shadowcasting and per pixel lighting (including DX10) would be extremely obsolete, unwelcome and fugly on such a graphics card

Since this came out in '04, I think there's a few games that use similiar GI shader code in real time.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 12:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaMack View Post
GPU's double up in power every year so in effect you would have the potential to improve graphics ten times every year.
Not this year - the 8800GTX I bought back in September '06 is still king, unless I am mistaken. (Exception: 8800 Ultra, but only by about 10% over GTX.)
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 12:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pratticus View Post
Not this year - the 8800GTX I bought back in September '06 is still king, unless I am mistaken. (Exception: 8800 Ultra, but only by about 10% over GTX.)
No way you bought a GTX back in sep 06.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 08:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by that article
The team at Intel estimates that within 2 years or so
that means 3-4 years.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 09:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sound_Card View Post
No way you bought a GTX back in sep 06.
Oh you're right. I just checked the invoice from building my last machine - it was October '06.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 11:00 AM   #20
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"Because the resolution is much higher here, it couldn't run fast enough in real time so the video was recorded at a lower frame rate and then sped up to show how the future power of PCs could make a raytracing engine look. "

Joy so my quad and GTX are obsolete now?

BTW I have never seen a good raytraced screenshot either. they always look like crao tbh.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 11:07 AM   #21
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Yeah those shots of older games still look like crap even when raytraced. I want to see Crysis with raytracing before i judge on this "magical" feature .
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 11:15 AM   #22
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Intel Yorkfield (45nm) Realtime RayTraces @ 90fps!
Some see it as hype for CPU sales...
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 03:39 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnottis View Post
Joy so my quad and GTX are obsolete now?
They were obsolete when they hit the market. That's the nature of technology, as I'm sure you understand.

An engineering professor once told me that "if we have the tech in our hands, it's obsolete". Meaning that if it's available to the consumer, it's obsolete.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 05:49 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pratticus View Post
Oh you're right. I just checked the invoice from building my last machine - it was October '06.
Wasn't the G80 (8800GTX/GTS 640) announced and released to retail in November 2006? See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G80#GeForce_8800 -- I don't remember them in the retail channel until the 2nd week of Nov.

Did you manage to get one early somehow?
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 06:02 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorney View Post
Here´s a game engine claiming GI.
http://www.fantasylab.com/newPages/F...eFeatures.html
EDIT: I recall stalker had some GI solution aswell.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 06:02 PM   #26
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Ozzie is right, we need good animation, not visuals.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 08:23 PM   #27
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It's hard to remember games with good Animation... i think Flashback and AnotherWorld had great animation (along with Prince of Persia 1+2)... but those games are hella old .

Recent games i'd say Prince of Persia: SoT (not played the others so not sure)
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 08:53 PM   #28
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the ray tracing we will see in 5 years will be no where near the quality of the games available today.
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 01:12 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirBaron View Post
It's hard to remember games with good Animation... i think Flashback and AnotherWorld had great animation (along with Prince of Persia 1+2)... but those games are hella old .

Recent games i'd say Prince of Persia: SoT (not played the others so not sure)
Even though those were flat-rendered 2-d graphics, the animation was what mades Another World and Flashback superb. Get the physics and the movement right, and it doesn't matter so much that your visuals aren't ultra-detailed. It's movement that fools the brain more than anything in a moving scene. Keep the fancy details for stills, I say.
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 03:31 AM   #30
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"Raytracing" isn't just about being perty, there's lots of other stuff under the hood that makes life easy.

* Perfect Circles (not polygon-made circles, but circles)
* Procedural textures (you can make clouds, marbles, woods, glasses, etc. extremely simply)
* CSG (you can add and subtract objects to/from other objects to make new objects)
* (mathematically) Perfect shadows, reflections, refractions and mirrors

and much more!

BUT!!!!

As much as I would love to see a game that is raytraced, I know that it just isn't practical yet. Neither is uncompressed video (HD is still HIGHLY compressed). At least uncompressed music is practical now, although you still need it compressed to carry around with you (unless there is a FLAC or SHN codec for portable devices like ipod/zune).
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