Path tracing in games

Practical and theoretical implementation discussion.
cignox1
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:11 am

Re: Path tracing in games

Post by cignox1 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:04 pm

I think that many of the ideas expressed here several years ago could be now revisited with the new RTX in mind.
For example, the complexity level reached by rasterizazion engines is something that has been discussed a lot recently. Or the hybrid approach that I considered in the opening message seems to be the path choosen by nVidia to introduce RT in games.

What do you think about it?

andersll
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:34 pm

Re: Path tracing in games

Post by andersll » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:25 am

Things seem to be progressing the exact same way we did in the offline world: start introducing raytracing to capture certain effects that are difficult to get looking right with rasterization techniques, then when the hardware catches up move to full path tracing and do away with the massive ball of complexity that's caused by all the hacks upon hacks to try and recreate stuff that just falls out of the rendering equation naturally.

Might take a little longer for games though - in feature work render times have gotten significantly longer since the shift to path tracing but we put up with it because the results are better and things generally require less artist time to reach a certain level of quality. For games you've got a hard frame time limit to hit.

cignox1
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:11 am

Re: Path tracing in games

Post by cignox1 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:08 am

Things seem to be progressing the exact same way we did in the offline world
Yes, that's what I think it is happening (and will happen with some luck = if nVidia don't give up due to the warm reception).
Might take a little longer for games though - in feature work render times have gotten significantly longer since the shift to path tracing but we put up with it because the results are better and things generally require less artist time to reach a certain level of quality. For games you've got a hard frame time limit to hit.
And on the top of that, in the offline world you can "just" upgrade your hw so that it is up to the task for your next feature film, but you can't force 10 millions players to upgrade their hw 2 or 3 times in a few years. And since you still need to keep your "old" rasterization code unless your target players already have capable hw, many years might be required before we see the first RT only AAA game (but I bet we will see some experimental/indy games in the meantime).

friedlinguini
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:15 pm

Re: Path tracing in games

Post by friedlinguini » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:33 pm

I think the hope is that it will follow roughly the same trajectory as programmable shading, which was also once an extravagant feature from the offline world. Unlike with Cg, I think there’s a bit more of a push for multi-vendor adoption of the interface as seen from getting it in DirectX early, along with various game engines.

Disclaimer: NVIDIA employee expressing my own opinion, and not privy to the meetings where this might have been discussed.

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