Is ray tracing a pointless gimmick or the next milestone in graphical advancement?

Ray tracing good

  • Yeah

    Votes: 215 68.0%
  • Nope

    Votes: 101 32.0%

  • Total voters
    316
Metro Exodus shows you can have a good level of visual fidelity, with great materials and good IQ at 60fps
Just to remind everybody how "a good level of visual fidelity" in Exodus looks with "RTX ON"

 
Isn't this all leading to eventually having path tracing in games? Surely this is what will take realtime graphics to the next level?
 
Just to remind everybody how "a good level of visual fidelity" in Exodus looks with "RTX ON"

Golfclap for cherry picking a flat looking screenshot I guess. I could post 10 screenshots of Metro Exodus on Series X that rival some of the best looking games ever made and 10 flat looking screenshot of what are considered some of the best looking games ever made but I just can't be bothered nor would it dissuade people with pre conceived opinions.
 
Golfclap for cherry picking a flat looking screenshot I guess. I could post 10 screenshots of Metro Exodus on Series X that rival some of the best looking games ever made and 10 flat looking screenshot of what are considered some of the best looking games ever made but I just can't be bothered nor would it dissuade people with pre conceived opinions.
I dare you to do it for Death Stranding, for example. Even one will be enough. :)
 
I dare you to do it for Death Stranding, for example. Even one will be enough. :)
I wouldn't besmirch the hard work of the developers because I know you can do it for every game because I have a fucking brain in my head. Real life looks flat at certain times of the day if combined with the right materials.
 
I wouldn't besmirch the hard work of the developers because I know you can do it for every game because I have a fucking brain in my head. Real life looks flat at certain times of the day if combined with the right materials.
The problem here is not the lighting (which is actually good) but the ultra low-poly environments and bad art.
Same shit going on in RDR2 indoors.
 

3liteDragon

Member
It's not a gimmick, it's essentially the holy grail of graphics technology. Something that's been talked about getting to since the 90s

The problem is devs got so good simulating lighting to a realistic degree without it that the improvements now seem small
This pretty much.
 

kevm3

Member
From what I've seen, you get a bit better shadows and reflections with these current ray tracing implementations, but none of that is worth the performance hit.

What really needs improving is skin shaders. Humans in games still often look like they are made out of dough or clay.
 

lukilladog

Member
Golfclap for cherry picking a flat looking screenshot I guess. I could post 10 screenshots of Metro Exodus on Series X that rival some of the best looking games ever made and 10 flat looking screenshot of what are considered some of the best looking games ever made but I just can't be bothered nor would it dissuade people with pre conceived opinions.

But that is about the most impressive thing of this game with RT, how it accurately shadows rooms or containers and other elements in exteriors, or every place with ligthing coming from the sun... same goes for cyberpunk. You seem to agree that it is not worth it?. I think a smart management of shadow maps with some cone tracing GI has that covered, computational resources are best invested in other techniques.
 

Astral Dog

Member
So far, i think its the first thing, but in the maybe one we see a RayTracing mode on consokes that doesn’t tank the framerate and offers new gameplay experiences i guess 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

SlimySnake

The Contrarian
Took some Cyberpunk RT on vs RT off shots. I legit couldnt tell the difference.

Ignore the FPS counter in the top left corner and see if it passes your eye test.





Max RT settings. Pyscho lighting, rt reflections, rt sun shadows, rt local shadows. All on.
 

akotlar

Neophyte
Took some Cyberpunk RT on vs RT off shots. I legit couldnt tell the difference.

Ignore the FPS counter in the top left corner and see if it passes your eye test.





Max RT settings. Pyscho lighting, rt reflections, rt sun shadows, rt local shadows. All on.

Look under the car. Screenspace effects work until the affected geometry is occluded or out of viewport.
 

01011001

Gold Member
Took some Cyberpunk RT on vs RT off shots. I legit couldnt tell the difference.

Ignore the FPS counter in the top left corner and see if it passes your eye test.





Max RT settings. Pyscho lighting, rt reflections, rt sun shadows, rt local shadows. All on.

to be fair, taking shots at night on a wet road with the camera looking very horizontally hides a lot of lighting issues traditional lighting has.

but yeah, RT lighting doesn't do much in general unless you look at every detail in comparison.

RT reflections on the other hand, that eliminates a lot of temporal instability.
although Cyberpunk's RT reflections are pretty shit all things considered, as they fall back to screen space reflections for a shitload of details, making them a half-baked solution.
and sadly you can't turn off the screen space reflections they use to fill in detail, as turning off SSR doesn't do anything as soon as RT reflections are turned on. but having missing details in the reflections would be preferable to the temporal instability the SSR component adds to them
 
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01011001

Gold Member
Took some Cyberpunk RT on vs RT off shots. I legit couldnt tell the difference.

Ignore the FPS counter in the top left corner and see if it passes your eye test.





Max RT settings. Pyscho lighting, rt reflections, rt sun shadows, rt local shadows. All on.

to be fair, taking shots at night on a wet road with the camera looking very horizontally hides a lot of lighting issues traditional lighting has.

but yeah, RT lighting doesn't do much in general unless you look at every detail in comparison.

RT reflections on the other hand, that eliminates a lot of temporal instability.
although Cyberpunk's RT reflections are pretty shit all things considered, as they fall back to screen space reflections for a shitload of details, making them a half-baked solution.
and sadly you can't turn off the screen space reflections they use to fill in detail, as turning off SSR doesn't do anything as soon as RT reflections are turned on. but having missing details in the reflections would be preferable to the temporal instability the SSR component adds to them

here's a screenshot I took in daytime, one of them is maxed out without RT and one is MAXed out with RT MAXed as well
no DLSS, both are 1440p

(I blurred out the FPS counter top left, but I don't think it's hard to tell which is which, even just looking at the gun and the hand here, let alone the car and the underpass)






edit:
additional shots:





EDIT2:
a screenshot of the settings I'm actually playing the game at:


(look at the jump in framerate between max + RT to my settings still using most RT settings)
_________________





edit2:
here with the settings I'm actually playing at

 
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01011001

Gold Member
the reason why I HIGHLY disagree with that opinion is that AO and GI already look decent in modern games... GI especially is becoming really damn good without RT.
Crytek's SVOGI which can run even on hardware like the Switch is already a perfectly fine GI solution, similar ones exist in other engines as well.

AO isn't as great, often also using a screen space implementation, but it's not nearly as distracting and immediately identifiably wrong as Screen Space Reflections are.

that's why IMO RT Reflections should be by far the highest priority for developers as we do not currently have a solution for reflections that comes even close to looking natural to the eye, unless we plaster render to texture reflections everywhere, which don't really work on curved surfaces and are at high quantities just as demanding as raytraced reflections.

if you play A Plague Tale Requiem and you're honestly telling me that the lighting in that game looks noticeably off then you're lying... sure if you had a side by side with 100% physically accurate lighting added through high quality raytracing you would see a difference, but that's it... you would see a difference! you wouldn't see obvious errors and temporally unstable parts of the image without RT, all you would see in comparison is that the ceiling in the building you are in was a bit too dark without RT, but with that light bounce it's now slightly illuminated.

meanwhile imagine adding RT reflections to that scene in Final Fantasy above...
would you honestly say that that part of the game would have a more stable image with RT GI but still using Screen Space Reflections?
or would you say that adding RT Reflections and leaving the lighting as is would make the game look more stable and less obviously wrong?

so in short, IMO RT reflections are WAY more important because bad SSR reflections are everywhere and way more obvious than having a part of a building be slightly too dark, or a wall not getting the green hue of the grass next to it through a bounce light. those things only become obvious in direct comparisons.

looking at that Amsterdam scene from Modern Warfare 2 that's making the rounds, I ask again... what looks noticeably off in this scenario?


is it the shadows that look off?
or the textures?
maybe the Ambient Occlusion?
nope... all of that looks absolutely fine without looking closer and inspecting each frame...

but what breaks? the reflections, they break almost instantly as soon as they are on screen.

this guy isn't trying to break SSR, but it just breaks anyway... because SSR is terrible.
the only thing in this game that looks off is the reflections.

and there are fallback reflections, but that doesn't really help the fact that the person you are following has a broken looking reflection on the ground, which looks worse and worse the closer you are to her.
when Screen Space Reflections break the artifacts are still visible above the fallback reflections, so these do not help at all
 
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gatti-man

Member
Currently it's a gimmick.
No consoles on the market can go full blown raytracing because RDNA 2 is just shit at processing RT. So until next-gen RT will be limited. Yes, PC can do RT but no studio in their right mind would focus on that when they know they can't run it on consoles.

Until we get godly reconstruction technique like DLSS3 on consoles, there will be no focus on RT. And that minimal focus will be overshadowed by non-RT 60FPS modes.
Studios don’t need to focus on RT. It’s real time so it’s less effort and looks better that’s the point. Yeah consoles can’t do it unless the game is incredibly simple sure. It’s essentially PC only right now.
 
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