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NVIDIA Reveals Old GPUs Can't Handle Raytracing, UE 4.22 Brings Raytracing to Devs, and more!
Posted: Posted Saturday by mariomguy

Raytracing is a massive revolution for gaming, and the revolution is upon us! Past techniques all required rasterization, basically a cheap method of snapping bitmap data from polygons, and screen space to render the final image. The methods all required workarounds because it was impossible to get all the data you needed per pixel. But that's exactly what raytracing does! Reflections and shadows can now be captured perfectly without any compromises!
https://www.engadget.com/2019/04/11/nvidia-shows-how-much-ray-tracing-sucks-on-older-gpus/
Unfortunately, the news that Pascal GPUs will include a patch to support raytracing also comes with the news that old GPUs basically cannot handle it, and the RTX 2060 trumps all of them by comparison, including the 1080ti and newest 1660 ti. So, the future can be yours for $350. If you spent any amount of money on anything else, don't bother.
https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog/unreal-engine-4-22-released
In other news, Unreal Engine launched 4.22 with early support for raytracing! Current feature set includes raytraced shadows and reflections for static meshes and many objects, and in an experimental phase GI. Currently it's not in shippable condition (still no landscape support, or subsurface scattering), but it's good enough to experiment with, provided you have the right equipment.

The future sure looks bright. Games now have the same tech rendering them as CGI movies!

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Crytek actually showed a demo a month ago of Cryengine doing Real-Time Raytracing Reflections on non-nvidia hardware and they claim it runs on most mainstream graphics cards which most are taking to mean the GTX 10 series at the very least.



Doesn't include shadows which I know Nvidia's does but honestly I think most people are far more interested in the reflections than the shadows. We've already had shadows at a good point where they're convincing enough.


Edited Sunday by Moonray
Moonray
 

But flashy graphics aside I am pretty interested in seeing games with mechanics designed around raytracing show up. I could see a horror game designed around the use of mirrors to avoid some kind of monster/hunter working extremely well with it as you'd be able to see exactly what you should see.

Posted Sunday by Moonray
Moonray
 

Actually, no, shadows nowadays are explicitly horrible. You either have baked shadows (low quality, horrific bake times, static), cascaded shadow maps (capture the scene several times over, still blurry, more expensive than necessary), or distance field shadows (semi-static, large memory input, unsupported on large terrains where it'd be most useful). Raytraced shadows take care of everything per-pixel for stunning quality, support fully dynamic environments, and don't require rerenders of the same scene multiple times.

If we can get to the point where raytracing can take care of shadows, reflections, AND GI, there will be nothing stopping dynamic games from being properly lit, shaded, or reflected. As of right now, fully dynamic environments are kind of impossible to work with. Even static environments with plenty of foliage are difficult to get shadowed right.

Cryengine devs make plenty of boastful comments. Even if raytraced reflections do work, the lack of shadows wouldn't be OK in most game environments.

Posted Sunday by mariomguy

What are you defining as a "dynamic" environment?


Posted Sunday by Moonray
Moonray
 

Changing time of day, moving lights. You can't bake in something that's moving, so all the lighting calculations need to be handled dynamically. At the moment, doing this for large open worlds is very difficult. There are cons to all present solutions. With raytracing there are no cons, other than hardware support, which will soon vanish.

Posted Sunday by mariomguy

"So, the future can be yours for $350"

I'm not sure where you are seeing that price, but NVIDIA has it listed for $1200+ on their website.
https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/shop/geforce/?page=1&limit=9&locale=en-us&gpu=RTX%%202080%%20Ti

Edited Monday by Q
Q
 

He probably just looked at the cheapest off-brand version on amazon and cited that.

Edited Monday by Cruinn-Annuin

I believe he was referring to the RTX2060 which is around the price (at least in the UK). He does mention the 2060 right before the price so...

Posted Monday by Moonray
Moonray
 

"I believe he was referring to the RTX2060 which is around the price (at least in the UK). He does mention the 2060 right before the price so..."

True, he does. Sorry, that was my bad, I read it as 2080. You can indeed get a 2060 for $350 on newegg.com
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500458&ignorebbr=1&source=region&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-PC&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-PC-_-pla-_-Video+Card+-+Nvidia-_-N82E16814500458&gclid=Cj0KCQjw19DlBRCSARIsAOnfReiYlNks7A23cU5i4Z7t69Yle-HJawhDPYPKPOGKvv1UBnhfiu5vqDMaAogtEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Posted Monday by Q
Q
 

Here is an NVIDIA's VP of Technical Marketing discussing raytracing in a quick 5-minute video, including how it works and why it runs so much faster on the RTX cards.
https://youtu.be/476N4KX8shA
While he didn't have enough time to explain in the video, dynamic GI is the problem of our times. In order to make a game that doesn't require any baking at all, indirect light (the light that fills the shadows of the world and illuminates interior spaces) would have to be calculated in realtime. In the past, games like The Sims drop the ball on lighting and don't even make an attempt to portray it accurately: the light is plain, flat, and simple. In the real world light bounces: a small patch of sunlight will hit a red cloth and cast red light all over. Then it will bounce off of white walls and extend further.

Along with many of the other effects he mentioned, raytracing is the only way to calculate GI properly. Cast a ray from the camera at the pixel and figure out how much light it captures. Up until now we haven't been doing that!

I am excited to see where this goes! I'm pumped up and almost getting ready to upgrade my GPU... almost.

Edited Tuesday by mariomguy

This brings me to the thought of how people are always chasing the carrot of "Realistic" graphics and if they are really needed for gaming to be immersive and fun. Don't get me wrong, I love detailed graphics that are smooth and fluid, but at the same time I feel that you don't have to have ray tracing to have fun. To me I find gameplay to be the best feature of a game.

Infact, I find myself enjoying games that have low detailed graphics. I've been having a blast recently playing through Final Fantasy 7 on the Switch. Yes I feel that it is often over rated and that the graphics definitely look dated but it is still a great game with great gameplay. I'm constantly running around battling enemies and juggling Materia around to different characters to level them all up.

Then you can look at the success of the NES and SNES Classic consoles. These consoles are running games that are from the mid 1980's to the mid 1990's and only the SNES Classic has any "3D" games. But most of the games on those consoles, especially the SNES Classic, have great gameplay. It also helps that most of them have very good sprite artwork like Secret of Mana. But then you look at Star Fox and Star Fox 2 and the graphics are just terrible. All those flat jagged polygons look ugly, but those games are saved by the gameplay.

Then you have entire consoles that focus on things other than graphics such as the Switch, which offers flexibility and adaptability over graphics, even though it can still produce some good looking games. You only have to look at Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey, and Smash Brothers to see how it can produce very good looking games.

So what I am getting at is that it's nice that there are companies out there trying to push the envelope of technology like this, but what is it really going to give us? Who is going to use it? Who will be able to use it? How will they use it? We have seen MANY games that have come out in the past (some very recently) touting graphical fidelity to be met with harsh criticism about poor gameplay.

SONY has said that The PS5 is to have Ray Tracing capability, so it will be interesting to see what games come out that use it, but I really think that we are at a point now where graphics aren't as much of a priority as GamePlay, which IMO is the most important part of a game.

Edited Wednesday by Q
Q
 

It should have always been the most important part of a game. No point looking and sounding incredible if it plays like shit and isn't any fun.

I'm not down on tech advancement, nor am I down on realism in media. But I agree with the assessment that sometimes it seems to get too much emphasis and significance. There's something to be said about how one of the most enduring games of all time is just a bunch of blocks falling. If the game is fun, people will play it and be into it. There is a place for improved graphics, sound, and tech power, to be sure. Many of my favorite games utilize these things.

But I definitely know for myself, I don't much think about tech as much as I do about game design itself. I will be curious to see what new design elements emerge from the tech, of course. Possibilities open up with that, so that will be interesting to see.

Posted Wednesday by Jet Presto

There's something to be said about how one of the most enduring games of all time is just a bunch of blocks falling


One of the most enduring games of all time doesn't have graphics.

Posted Wednesday by Cruinn-Annuin

This brings me to the thought of how people are always chasing the carrot of "Realistic" graphics and if they are really needed for gaming to be immersive and fun. Don't get me wrong, I love detailed graphics that are smooth and fluid, but at the same time I feel that you don't have to have ray tracing to have fun. To me I find gameplay to be the best feature of a game.


But I definitely know for myself, I don't much think about tech as much as I do about game design itself. I will be curious to see what new design elements emerge from the tech, of course. Possibilities open up with that, so that will be interesting to see.


Yea this is what I was saying before. I am far more interested in what kind of gameplay they can pull from this than the actual visual pleasantness of it.

From a general consumer perspective raytracing is just something we will notice in games a few times and go "that looks cool" and then very quickly it'll just become this thing you don't really notice is happening. Unless they provide gameplay reasons to pay attention to it of course.

Posted Wednesday by Moonray
Moonray
 

This brings me to the thought of how people are always chasing the carrot of "Realistic" graphics and if they are really needed for gaming to be immersive and fun.

This is not just to chase some silly dream called "realism." Physically based rendering allowed objects to be shaded with full-colored reflections, giving Mario Kart 8 its great depth with its color and quality. Raytracing allows a shit ton of other things to happen that just couldn't before. There were no shadows on the grass in Breath of The Wild. Raytracing would make something like that a lot easier, to make the world feel a lot more grounded.

Then you can look at the success of the NES and SNES Classic consoles. These consoles are running games that are from the mid 1980's to the mid 1990's and only the SNES Classic has any "3D" games. But most of the games on those consoles, especially the SNES Classic, have great gameplay.

I don't think this should be a graphics VS. gameplay debate, it should be a graphics AND gameplay debate. If you wanted to change time of day on the NES, you had to change the entire sprite, so, Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest had a day/night transition that hit you like a ton of bricks. Modern games do a million hacky things to make that happen, but it never runs fast or smooth enough on lower-end hardware. Raytracing can probably make that happen. Pixel-perfect reflections, shadows, and AO are all easy to do thanks to the new RTX hardware. If Nintendo had this tech, I'd be interested to see what they do with it for Mario, Mario Kart, and Metroid Prime, all games which do their best to feature dramatic reflections.

So what I am getting at is that it's nice that there are companies out there trying to push the envelope of technology like this, but what is it really going to give us?

  • New gameplay using reflections in ways that were never possible before
  • New gameplay using dynamic GI allowing for changing time of day/dynamic terrain with impressive quality results
  • More efficient shadowing for large open worlds
  • MUCH better CGI-quality lighting for ALL, no gimmicks
  • Gorgeous volumetric shaders for flying through clouds, godlights, volumetric shadows, etc. without the old hacky methods (we may be a little bit away from some of this still)
  • And more than you can possibly imagine!

    I'm not down on tech advancement, nor am I down on realism in media. But I agree with the assessment that sometimes it seems to get too much emphasis and significance.

    I don't think you get it. This is as big as the jump from 2D to 3D: raytracing was the holy grail of 3D graphics for 5 decades, but it seemed out of reach for gaming. We've relied on rasterization since the 90s to represent 3D graphics, and this is an entirely new system based on the simple idea that everything in the world is 3D, let's do all the calculations in 3D! This opens up a Pandora's box of possibilities for new gameplay, new rendering techniques, and stuff we've never seen before that I can't even fathom. One of the tech demos had a hall of infinite mirrors. Imagine a puzzle game where you're trying to redirect light through mirrors, and you look into the mirrors and find something coming toward you. An effect like this would've been 100% impossible before. Now it runs 1080p 60f on a $350 graphics card.

  • Posted Very Early Yesterday by mariomguy

    No, I get it. And as I said, I am excited to see what design elements are able to emerge in that technology.

    I just don't think that is the end all of games or game design, is all. New is interesting and exciting, but is not inherently good. There are plenty of great puzzle games on the current, or older hardware. That's all I'm saying. Still plenty of ways to design truly great games with what we have.

    Again, not down on the tech. All I'm saying is it is not the arbiter of games being well designed or not.

    Posted Very Early Yesterday by Jet Presto

    Raytracing is undoubtedly a cool development, but I hope the devs utilizing it will exercise some restraint. I've seen way too many demos where just about every surface has some kind of mirror/reflection going on. It takes me right out of whatever 'realistic' graphical advances they're going for.

    Ex:



    The floor is reflective! The walls are reflective! The desk is reflective! Everything is reflective! Even the video Moonray posted leaves me with this strange feeling that the world is inexplicably covered in a thin layer of oil.

    Now granted, these are demos meant to show off what the technology is capable of. But there is a point where you've got too much of a good thing.

    Edited Very Early Yesterday by Count Dooku

    This is not just to chase some silly dream called "realism." Physically based rendering allowed objects to be shaded with full-colored reflections, giving Mario Kart 8 its great depth with its color and quality. Raytracing allows a shit ton of other things to happen that just couldn't before. There were no shadows on the grass in Breath of The Wild. Raytracing would make something like that a lot easier, to make the world feel a lot more grounded.


    This is not just to chase some silly dream called "realism", [but] to make the world feel a lot more grounded.




    Posted Very Early Yesterday by Cruinn-Annuin

    "This is not just to chase some silly dream called "realism." Physically based rendering allowed objects to be shaded with full-colored reflections, giving Mario Kart 8 its great depth with its color and quality. Raytracing allows a shit ton of other things to happen that just couldn't before. There were no shadows on the grass in Breath of The Wild. Raytracing would make something like that a lot easier, to make the world feel a lot more grounded. "

    Mario Kart 8 is fun becuase of the GamePlay. Yes it's nice that it has good graphics, but I can go all the way back to Mario Kart 64 and have just as much fun and it was made over 20 years ago. Also, who the hell goes outside and admires the shadows of grass? I can honestly not ever think of a time I noticed grass shadows in real life so why would I want them in a video game?

    "I don't think this should be a graphics VS. gameplay debate, it should be a graphics AND gameplay debate."

    I agree, it SHOULD be. However we are starting to see alot of games focus on either graphics or gameplay. Rarely do we get games that have a great mix of both.

    "If you wanted to change time of day on the NES, you had to change the entire sprite, so, Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest had a day/night transition that hit you like a ton of bricks. Modern games do a million hacky things to make that happen, but it never runs fast or smooth enough on lower-end hardware. Raytracing can probably make that happen. Pixel-perfect reflections, shadows, and AO are all easy to do thanks to the new RTX hardware. If Nintendo had this tech, I'd be interested to see what they do with it for Mario, Mario Kart, and Metroid Prime, all games which do their best to feature dramatic reflections."

    I agree that raytracing would make graphical effects better and easier. But we have gotten many games that can do night/day cycles just fine.

    "**New gameplay using reflections in ways that were never possible before
    **New gameplay using dynamic GI allowing for changing time of day/dynamic terrain with impressive quality results
    **More efficient shadowing for large open worlds
    **MUCH better CGI-quality lighting for ALL, no gimmicks
    **Gorgeous volumetric shaders for flying through clouds, godlights, volumetric shadows, etc. without the old hacky methods (we may be a little bit away from some of this still)
    **And more than you can possibly imagine!! "

    NONE of that actually affects gameplay. It's all window dressing; a fancier coat of paint. It's all purely cosmetic. Games have been using reflections for gameplay for years. Look at Mario 64, Duke Nukem 3D and other mid/late 1990's games.

    Everything you have said is literally what I said about chasing the Carrot of "Realistic" graphics. Reflections and better Lighting are nice to have, and sometimes can help immerse you in a game's world better, but as Moonray said people will think it's kind of cool to have at first and then forget it's even there.

    Ocarina of Time isn't remembered and cherished because of it's graphics, but because of it's gameplay and story line. Yes back in 1998 it was probably one of the best looking games around, but it's graphics were quickly out paced. Chrono Trigger is often held up as one of the best RPG's to this day despite being released on 16-bit hardware. Look at any list of the best games ever made and pretty much all the places list their top games because of GamePlay.

    Again, i'm not saying I don't like games with good graphics. When I was a kid the first thing I would do when looking at games at the store was to flip the box or case over and look at the screenshots. I had the naive notion that if the graphics didn't look good then the game wouldn't be good. It wasn't until I got older and more mature that I realized that some of the best games ever made don't have the best of graphics.

    EDIT: IGN has just posted an article about Ray Tracing, it's worth a read:
    https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/04/17/what-is-ray-tracing-and-should-you-care

    Edited Yesterday Morning by Q
    Q
     

    There were no shadows on the grass in Breath of The Wild. Raytracing would make something like that a lot easier, to make the world feel a lot more grounded.

    we literally going around fighting hob globins and reviving ancient spirit weapons.

    Posted Yesterday Morning by S.O.H.
    S.O.H.
     

    Now granted, these are demos meant to show off what the technology is capable of. But there is a point where you've got too much of a good thing.

    As you said, the purpose is to show off the technology. Initial demos are always directed to developers, not the general audience. Because perfect reflections were 100% impossible before this and it's one of the easiest things to implement with raytracing, yes, there will be many metals and slick surfaces in the early demos. But since the entire world is lit with reflections, not just shiny objects, this also means rough surfaces will have more beautiful colors. It's just much better to go straight to the obvious choice for a demo.









    Mario Kart 8 is fun becuase of the GamePlay. Yes it's nice that it has good graphics, but I can go all the way back to Mario Kart 64 and have just as much fun and it was made over 20 years ago.

    lol no.

    I agree, it SHOULD be. However we are starting to see alot of games focus on either graphics or gameplay. Rarely do we get games that have a great mix of both.

  • Mario Kart 8
  • Any Super Mario game from Galaxy and beyond
  • Unreal Tournament (I am biased and I know it)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Metroid Prime
  • Super Smash Bros
  • Marvel's Spiderman
  • God of War
  • Journey
  • Little Big Planet
  • Overwatch

    If we expand to 2D...

  • Rayman Legends
  • World of Goo
  • Dust: An Elysian Tail

    I agree, truly good games are hard to find. But they've always been hard to find, and they always will be hard to find. It's up to the developers to put gameplay first. But this tech allows us to do things we've never dreamed of.

    NONE of that actually affects gameplay. It's all window dressing; a fancier coat of paint. It's all purely cosmetic. Games have been using reflections for gameplay for years. Look at Mario 64, Duke Nukem 3D and other mid/late 1990's games.

    OK, I suppose you could always do stuff like Super Mario 64 and leave everything very generically lit. No shadows, only a blob. And just tack a whacky camera-reflected texture on an object and call that a reflection. Or you can, you know, use raytracing to make something very beautiful. If the time of day changes in a game, it should be handled beautifully. But currently, simulation games like Planet Coaster require massively powerful GPUs to run well because our current solutions for rendering dynamic objects (objects that move or can be placed in the world) is horrible.

    The point is it will be EASIER for developers to create amazing things and EASIER for computers to run it. It's the same system that Hollywood has been using for the last few decades, and a pipe dream for developers finally come to fruition. Changing time of day? No problem. Moving lights with shadows of small, thin objects? No problem. Reflections? As you can see, no problem. Virtually everything that used to be a painstaking impossibly difficult problem now has an easy and practical solution: raytrace it! So whatever game idea someone has will not be limited by graphical constraints. RTX can render infinite mirrors. Yes!

  • Posted Last Night by mariomguy

    >but I can go all the way back to Mario Kart 64 and have just as much fun and it was made over 20 years ago.


    lol no.


    Yeah, you can stop telling people what they have more or less fun with immediately. Remember this?
    https://web.archive.org/web/20150730045947/http://gtx0.com/view.php?post=93833

    Posted Last Night by Cruinn-Annuin

    "lol no. "

    Who the fuck are you to tell me I can't have just a much fun with MK64 as SMK8? Get your head out of your own ass and stop being self absorbed long enough to recognize people have different tastes then you.

    You listed a good list of games. However, some can be considered very dated by today's standards. Metroid Prime was a very good looking game back in the day, but now not so much. People talk about it's gameplay more than it's graphics.

    " It's up to the developers to put gameplay first. But this tech allows us to do things we've never dreamed of. "

    Yes it is. And it's visually/graphically for things you haven't dreamed of. Ray tracing is not going to introduce new gameplay. It will augment the current gameplay techniques that are currently out.

    "The point is it will be EASIER for developers to create amazing things and EASIER for computers to run it. It's the same system that Hollywood has been using for the last few decades, and a pipe dream for developers finally come to fruition. Changing time of day? No problem. Moving lights with shadows of small, thin objects? No problem. Reflections? As you can see, no problem. Virtually everything that used to be a painstaking impossibly difficult problem now has an easy and practical solution: raytrace it! So whatever game idea someone has will not be limited by graphical constraints. RTX can render infinite mirrors. Yes!"

    I literally said this in less words. Helps to read.

    Posted 2 Hours ago by Q
    Q
     
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