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News Rendering Engineer at EpicGames: DirectX RayTracing and Vulkan Optix holds everything back in PC land

Alphagear

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If you don't care about games improving visuals then sure. If all you want is to play ps4 games at 240fps then it won't appeal to you.
If you like having realistic light shadows and reflections and games actually looking more realistic then it's totally indispensible.



I have been waiting decades for games to have consistently good shadows. I want them to actually have a proper solution to the game looking good, they can make it looks smooth once that is solved.

Or I could play Demon's Souls on PS5 which has NO Ray-Tracing yet looks better than most RT supported games currently.
 
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mr.dilya

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If you don't care about games improving visuals then sure. If all you want is to play ps4 games at 240fps then it won't appeal to you.
If you like having realistic light shadows and reflections and games actually looking more realistic then it's totally indispensible.



I have been waiting decades for games to have consistently good shadows. I want them to actually have a proper solution to the game looking good, they can make it looks smooth once that is solved.

I mean that’s cool and all but that’s something you aren’t really going to notice if you are, you know....into the game. It’s the type of thing that’s only going to be noticeable in screenshots and promotional material.

we are reaching the point of diminishing returns in terms of visuals, true tech advancement in games should have more to do with how a game feels while playing it, larger worlds to explore and interact with, and things like Ai and NPC behaviors to enhance immersion. Shiny stuff isn’t doing much right now but giving companies a reason to hose you for overpriced hardware.
 

Alphagear

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I mean that’s cool and all but that’s something you aren’t really going to notice if you are, you know....into the game. It’s the type of thing that’s only going to be noticeable in screenshots and promotional material.

we are reaching the point of diminishing returns in terms of visuals, true tech advancement in games should have more to do with how a game feels while playing it, larger worlds to explore and interact with, and things like Ai and NPC behaviors to enhance immersion. Shiny stuff isn’t doing much right now but giving companies a reason to hose you for overpriced hardware.

Exactly.

All I see is an extra polish on a game yet so much resources going into it.

Those resources would be better spent on textures, framerates and physics.

Demon's souls is a great example. No RT yet looks better than most RT support titles currently available.
 

longdi

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isnt it strange when pc RT is so new, with so few hardware compatibility concerns. why the need for a thicc DXR that prevents low level access?

Is it Amd ray accelerator is teh suxxor?
 

Alphagear

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Accuracy vs OMG SPECTACLE

Gimme both GTX 5090

Exactly not right now.

RT is too resource hungry especially for the consoles for so little in return.

Even the new AMD 6000 cards aren't up to required standards yet for RT.
 
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Lethal01

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Or I could play Demon's Souls on PS5 which has NO Ray-Tracing yet looks better than most RT supported games currently.
I mean that’s cool and all but that’s something you aren’t really going to notice if you are, you know....into the game. It’s the type of thing that’s only going to be noticeable in screenshots and promotional material.

we are reaching the point of diminishing returns in terms of visuals, true tech advancement in games should have more to do with how a game feels while playing it, larger worlds to explore and interact with, and things like Ai and NPC behaviors to enhance immersion. Shiny stuff isn’t doing much right now but giving companies a reason to hose you for overpriced hardware.

Demon's souls looks great, but it would look far better with raytracing so I don't see your point. RT costs me JUST maybe half my framerate and gives me a quantum leap in lighting in return.

We are FAR away from reaching diminishing returns when it comes to visuals. YOU don't notice it, I see it every second in even the most intense games, it's distracting and ugly. If I'm paying enough attention to play these games well then I'm not going to miss how fucking terrible the shadows and lighting in general currently is. Seeing the fake reflections in Spiderman when swinging through the world is also extremely shitty.

Like I said, if you don't care about visuals, that's fine. I want the companies to keep focusing on it because I do care.
 
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Nikana

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Isn't that usually the case when it comes to implementing specialized tech? It takes time for things to mature and new methods are created to make the overhead less.
 

Alphagear

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Demon's souls looks great, but it would look better with raytracing so I don't see your point.

We are FAR away from reaching diminishing returns when it comes to visuals. YOU don't notice it, I see it every second in even the most intense games, it's distracting and ugly. If I'm paying enough attention to play these games well then I'm not going to miss how fucking terrible the shadows and lighting in general currently is. Seeing the fake reflections in Spiderman when swinging through the world is also extremely shitty.

Like I said, if you don't care about visuals, that's fine. I want the companies to keep focusing on it because I do care.

Put RT ON and Demon's Souls would run at a lower framerate and a lower resolution.

No thanks.

Not this gen for the consoles atleast.
 
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Lethal01

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Put RT ON and Demon's Souls would run at a lower framerate and a lower resolution.

No thanks.

Not this gen for the consoles atleast.

Well the fidelity mode already exists in Demon's souls, Only issue is that since they didn't have time to include raytracing before launch all they could do is slap on a higher resolution and call it a day. Framerate I can understand a bit, but if you think 4k is more important than better lighting you're insane.
 

Lethal01

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Have you seen UE5 demo?


Yep, keeping it simple, it's Voxel based raytracing combined with tracing through distance fields with some screen based tracing.
They hope to speed it up by using the PS5's ray tracing hardware soon.

It's literally a perfect example of how important the tech is and once again, if you want to improve from this(the shadows in this still dissapear if the caster is occluded) the solution is more tracing.
 
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mr.dilya

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Demon's souls looks great, but it would look far better with raytracing so I don't see your point. RT costs me maybe half my framerate and gives me a quantum leap in lighting in return.

We are FAR away from reaching diminishing returns when it comes to visuals. YOU don't notice it, I see it every second in even the most intense games, it's distracting and ugly. If I'm paying enough attention to play these games well then I'm not going to miss how fucking terrible the shadows and lighting in general currently is. Seeing the fake reflections in Spiderman when swinging through the world is also extremely shitty.

Like I said, if you don't care about visuals, that's fine. I want the companies to keep focusing on it because I do care.

Dude, you said you’ve been waiting decades to see the shadow of a light pole. You just sound hyperbolic and borderline fanatical. I don’t think RT is tech that should be scrapped completely, but stressing it as the end all be all of next gen visuals is total bullshit.
 

Guilty_AI

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If you don't care about games improving visuals then sure. If all you want is to play ps4 games at 240fps then it won't appeal to you.
If you like having realistic light shadows and reflections and games actually looking more realistic then it's totally indispensible.



I have been waiting decades for games to have consistently good shadows. I want them to actually have a proper solution to the game looking good, they can make it looks smooth once that is solved.
Erm, you don't really need RT to have shadows like this.
High res shadows+HFTS or PCSS, reproduces the effect pretty nicely (The Division 1 below)

 

IShowUBasics

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RT has got to be the most Over rated and useless tech I have seen in some time. Honestly yet to see what the big deal is regarding it.

For me techs like DLSS and Checkerboarding are far more useful techs going forward.
the funny thing is people already think screenspace reflections are raytracing. This tech is already as good as raytracing with the only difference beeing that it cant reflect things that are outside the view. But why would that really matter. raytracing cant die fast enough. just the latest pc meme.
 

VFXVeteran

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I mean that’s cool and all but that’s something you aren’t really going to notice if you are, you know....into the game. It’s the type of thing that’s only going to be noticeable in screenshots and promotional material.

we are reaching the point of diminishing returns in terms of visuals, true tech advancement in games should have more to do with how a game feels while playing it, larger worlds to explore and interact with, and things like Ai and NPC behaviors to enhance immersion. Shiny stuff isn’t doing much right now but giving companies a reason to hose you for overpriced hardware.

I don't believe that for one second. Why is it that when it comes to features that aren't on the console, people seem to negate them. But when it's a game that's specific to a console like describing small visuals in a game like UC4 with hair on the body in a cinematic or props that bounce off of someone's head, etc.. it's put up on stage as the main attraction.

People want to acknowledge what fits their agenda. RT was downplayed severely by the console crowd when we started seeing it in games only on the PC. Now all of a sudden, RT reflections are completely visible and make a huge difference in visuals. Very hypocritical but I'm not surprised.
 
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Lethal01

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Dude, you said you’ve been waiting decades to see the shadow of a light pole. You just sound hyperbolic and borderline fanatical. I don’t think RT is tech that should be scrapped completely, but stressing it as the end all be all of next gen visuals is total bullshit.

The light pole is a single example, it's not isolated, every game has the problem with something almost every second. I didn't say it's the only thing that matter though, increased geometry density is also good. But RT is definitely one of the biggest improvement in graphics in a long time.

Erm, you don't really need RT to have shadows like this.
High res shadows+HFTS or PCSS, reproduces the effect pretty nicely (The Division 1 below)


It's a nice improvement over what we had 10 years ago, But it's not as good as raytracing and still fails far too often, I'm not just saying that raytracing is better than what was available over a decade ago, I'm saying it's the best solution available right now and nothing is matching it.
 
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Guilty_AI

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It's a nice improvement over what we had 10 years ago, But it's not as good as raytracing and is still more often to totally fail.
Things like reflections and global illumination can be totally improved with RT.
Its just that the example you gave with the shadows is a really poor one.
 

VFXVeteran

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The light pole is a single example, it's not isolated, every game has the problem with something almost every second. I didn't say it's the only thing that matter though, increased geometry density is also good. But RT is definitely one of the biggest improvement in graphics in a long time.



It's a nice improvement over what we had 10 years ago, But it's not as good as raytracing and is still more often to totally fail.

I'm glad to see you on the defensive side of things (where I usually reside). Of course I agree with what you are saying, but trying to convince anyone to agree with you when it's something that their platform can't do or hasn't shown right now is a lesson in futility.
 

Lethal01

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Things like reflections and global illumination can be totally improved with RT.
Its just that the example you gave with the shadows is a really poor one.

Nah, even games implementing HFTS have the exact same issue as the screenshot from Call of duty. Just less noticeably or less often..
This is the reason I said "Consistently good" shadows.

But once again, I'm not acting as though I wasn't very happy when I saw these other solutions popping up. But raytracing is pretty much the thing it was building up to.
 
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ReBurn

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Because they are using DXR.
That is his point.

The best implementation and use of RT in games come from a game that doesn’t use DXR but a low level API.
Isn't Optix a low level C++ API? At least it was considered that a couple of years ago. Because he's lumping that in with DX12 and Vulkan:

Well, DXR (and very DXR-like Vulkan extension as well as Optix) is the only way to do hardware ray tracing on PC.

This guy sounds like a know-it-all in his tweets more than anything else. Based on his Twitter he's a very "the only software that's good enough is the software I write" kind of developer. I look forward to seeing his custom ray tracing implementation in future Epic games, but something tells me it will never surface. His responses are the typical "blame the tools" kind of response.

That said, I would also like to hear how Sony pulled off the ray tracing in Miles Morales because it looks really good. Without a doubt they had access to hardware engineers that most 3rd party developers won't have so it will be interesting to see if they reserve the secret sauce for their first party games or whether they roll it into their dev kits. Makes me think of PS3 where Naughty Dog and Insomniac ware able to pull performance out of the hardware that others couldn't because of their access to Cerny and the hardware design team via the ICE initiative.
 

VFXVeteran

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Things like reflections and global illumination can be totally improved with RT.
Its just that the example you gave with the shadows is a really poor one.

Shadows is very important. It represents a light source. If you didn't have that shadow then the light source loses it's effectiveness.
 

Hudo

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Huh? What is that dude on about? You can also do raytracing using CUDA and/or OpenCL. You can even utilize OpenGL's compute shader stuff to do raytracing. Vulkan and DirectX are certainly not the only options.
 
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assurdum

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Huh? What is that dude on about? You can also do raytracing using CUDA and/or OpenCL. You can even utilize OpenGL's compute shader stuff to do raytracing. Vulkan and DirectX are certainly not the only options.
He didn't said what you think.
 

Elog

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Why all the hostility? If you want to translate what he is saying it is: 'I look at the amount of RT in Spider Man MM and conclude that it would not even be close to possible to run that on a PC with similar hardware at stable 30FPS. The current generation of RT APIs on the PC platform does not allow for that level of optimization. While there is always a difference between console and PC in terms of coding close to the metal on the RT side of things the distance between hardware and software is currently prohibitive to do cool things.'

Not sure why such a comment is both surprising given what we have seen so far or weird.
 

ethomaz

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Isn't Optix a low level C++ API? At least it was considered that a couple of years ago. Because he's lumping that in with DX12 and Vulkan:



This guy sounds like a know-it-all in his tweets more than anything else. Based on his Twitter he's a very "the only software that's good enough is the software I write" kind of developer. I look forward to seeing his custom ray tracing implementation in future Epic games, but something tells me it will never surface. His responses are the typical "blame the tools" kind of response.

That said, I would also like to hear how Sony pulled off the ray tracing in Miles Morales because it looks really good. Without a doubt they had access to hardware engineers that most 3rd party developers won't have so it will be interesting to see if they reserve the secret sauce for their first party games or whether they roll it into their dev kits. Makes me think of PS3 where Naughty Dog and Insomniac ware able to pull performance out of the hardware that others couldn't because of their access to Cerny and the hardware design team via the ICE initiative.
Just to add the quote you used from him is false.... there is others way to use RT on PC:

- Making direct calls to driver (that is basically the most low level you can go... APIs just abstract these calls).
- Using nVidia RT extensions for OpenGL or Vulkan (games using RT in nVidia GPUs before DXR used these extensions)

You are not exactly locked to DXR or official Vulkan RT API... of course these API makes it easier and cross-GPU... that is a big advantage for a lot of developers.

That alone makes his claim false.
 
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assurdum

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Why all the hostility? If you want to translate what he is saying it is: 'I look at the amount of RT in Spider Man MM and conclude that it would not even be close to possible to run that on a PC with similar hardware at stable 30FPS. The current generation of RT APIs on the PC platform does not allow for that level of optimization. While there is always a difference between console and PC in terms of coding close to the metal on the RT side of things the distance between hardware and software is currently prohibitive to do cool things.'

Not sure why such a comment is both surprising given what we have seen so far or weird.
Because PC master race.
 
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Why all the hostility? If you want to translate what he is saying it is: 'I look at the amount of RT in Spider Man MM and conclude that it would not even be close to possible to run that on a PC with similar hardware at stable 30FPS. The current generation of RT APIs on the PC platform does not allow for that level of optimization. While there is always a difference between console and PC in terms of coding close to the metal on the RT side of things the distance between hardware and software is currently prohibitive to do cool things.'

Not sure why such a comment is both surprising given what we have seen so far or weird.
It's phrased in a pretty silly way... if PC is held back it's because there are so many different platforms. You aren't held back by DXR, DXR is really the only thing enabling anyone to use ray tracing today in a product they plan on selling.

If DXR was gone, there just wouldn't be raytracing.. the alternative isn't a bunch of PC devs coding to the bare metal or something.
 

assurdum

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It's phrased in a pretty silly way... if PC is held back it's because there are so many different platforms. You aren't held back by DXR, DXR is really the only thing enabling anyone to use ray tracing today in a product they plan on selling.

If DXR was gone, there just wouldn't be raytracing.. the alternative isn't a bunch of PC devs coding to the bare metal or something.
Maybe he thinks DXR is not useful, it has other priorities which don't like it. I don't find silly his assessment.
 
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Guilty_AI

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Shadows is very important. It represents a light source. If you didn't have that shadow then the light source loses it's effectiveness.
Thing is we already have tech that can reproduces direct shadows pretty nicely, from softening effect to long shadows.
I'm not saying RT doesn't improve the overall visuals, however i feel direct shadows is the single thing that we don't really see much improvement (of course it'd be different if we're talking about ambient occlusion).

Maybe we could make a case that RT just makes it easier to have more "consistently good" shadows like Lethal01 Lethal01 said since its less troublesome to implement (I just assume its less troublesome since i'm not completely in-the-know, so i could be wrong), but doesn't change we can already have tech to create shadows like that.
As i said, i'm not arguing that RT doesn't look good, although its probably possible to argue if the visual improvements are worth the heavy hardware cost, which case i'd go on a case-by-case basis.
 
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VFXVeteran

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Why all the hostility? If you want to translate what he is saying it is: 'I look at the amount of RT in Spider Man MM and conclude that it would not even be close to possible to run that on a PC with similar hardware at stable 30FPS.

Oh boy. Even if that's true, so what. Spiderman MM was not even using low-level access. Insomniac explained in detail that they scaled back the RT reflection code. They used a ray-switch shader and lowered the resolution of the reflection.

The current generation of RT APIs on the PC platform does not allow for that level of optimization.

That will never happen on the PC platform so need to say it. PC is agnostic and has to have general API in order to support multiple configurations. That doesn't matter since a PC will always run any console game better than the console can.

While there is always a difference between console and PC in terms of coding close to the metal on the RT side of things the distance between hardware and software is currently prohibitive to do cool things.'

That's untrue and without stating what 'cool things' means, you are just spouting out conjecture.
 

Neo_game

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Huh? What is that dude on about? You can also do raytracing using CUDA and/or OpenCL. You can even utilize OpenGL's compute shader stuff to do raytracing. Vulkan and DirectX are certainly not the only options.

Not sure why they would use anything other than DX12 and Vulkan ? These are the only 2 realistic option and probably DXR is the one they are using and not happy with it.
 

assurdum

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Oh boy. Even if that's true, so what. Spiderman MM was not even using low-level access. Insomniac explained in detail that they scaled back the RT reflection code. They used a ray-switch shader and lowered the resolution of the reflection.



That will never happen on the PC platform so need to say it. PC is agnostic and has to have general API in order to support multiple configurations. That doesn't matter since a PC will always run any console game better than the console can.



That's untrue and without stating what 'cool things' means, you are just spouting out conjecture.
Source?
 

ReBurn

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Just to add the quote you used from him is false.... there is others way to use RT on PC:

- Making direct calls to driver (that is basically the most low level you can go... APIs just abstract these calls).
- Using nVidia RT extensions for OpenGL or Vulkan (games using RT in nVidia GPUs before DXR used these extensions)

So you are not exactly locked to DXR or official Vulkan RT API... of course these API makes it easier and cross-GPU... that is a big advantage for a lot of developers.
I know what API's are and how they work. I'm just going on what he said. He also said that these API's are the only way to do RT on PC.

Well, DXR (and very DXR-like Vulkan extension as well as Optix) is the only way to do hardware ray tracing on PC.

So either he's right and these API's are the only way to do it or he's wrong and they aren't. But if he's wrong then why should anyone care what his opinion is on it? And that's my point.

The reality is that it's just too complicated to use the specific hardware interfaces for the myriad GPU configurations on the market. That's why DX and Vulkan are needed. It would take so long to create your software if you tried to talk to every possible driver for,every possible GPU that you would spend all of your resources doing that.

I personally think that developers are not being held back like this guy says they are. There are too many good results out there now that provide empirical evidence that they're doing just fine. I think he just doesn't like using anyone else's software and is digging on it because he thinks he can do better on his own.
 
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DonJuanSchlong

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You didn't understand the point of my post. You can't optimise a black box, you have no access to what it does, you just throw it inputs and receive an output and that's it, that's a black box. That's the point, how can something be "poorly optimised" if it literally can't be optimised? His/her statement was nonsensical, as is yours.
And you obviously didn't understand my statement. The hardware is much more powerful, so you don't need the optimizations that consoles need in order to try and maintain 30/60 fps. These optimizations on PC would be more than welcome, but it doesn't seem possible with the million and one hardware configs.
 

Elog

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Oh boy. Even if that's true, so what. Spiderman MM was not even using low-level access. Insomniac explained in detail that they scaled back the RT reflection code. They used a ray-switch shader and lowered the resolution of the reflection.

That will never happen on the PC platform so need to say it. PC is agnostic and has to have general API in order to support multiple configurations. That doesn't matter since a PC will always run any console game better than the console can.

That's untrue and without stating what 'cool things' means, you are just spouting out conjecture.

All that hostility - must have hit a nerve :)

You seem too think that APIs are static and as they evolve over time does not decrease the distance between the API and the hardware variants the API can address? You know that is simply not true.

Not sure - given your track record on this site - I would trust you compared to this developer when he is stating that the current RT APIs are not well optimised compared to other sections of the same APIs, i.e. that there is a lot of hardware left on the table.

Are you honestly stating that the RT parts of the DirectX API set are set in stone for the next few years and no optimisation will be done? I cannot believe that is your position. And if it is not - you are in basic agreement with what I stated. So you kind of have a choice - look like a fool claiming that the DirectX RT API set will not improve at all going forward or you are in basic agreement with the developer in the OP and me ;)
 
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Guilty_AI

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No we don't. How are you going to make a high enough shadow map to capture a small fork on a table or any small props? You can't. I've tried. Only RT can capture it.
Then how do i see so many games where small props do cast shadows? In Watchdogs 2 even the the cord in Marcus bag casts a shadow, in RDR2 the bolts in the side of train door also cast shadows, all clean without visible tears. And even if they're using some different technique i don't know about, isn't the end result the same anyway?
 
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Maybe he thinks DXR is not useful, it has other priorities which don't like it. I don't find silly his assessment.
Just sounds like any of the dozens of young software developers I talk to in a given week at work who can't see beyond the end of their noses.

He sounds like he's enjoyed the benefits of writing code dedicated to a single piece of hardware but lacks the ability to see why things are done differently elsewhere. It's just a really bad way to word "being able to focus on low level hardware can produce more optimized results."

edit: Ah I see... this guy contributed to the Vulkan RT API.. so this is just your typical developer tribalism lol
 
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Panajev2001a

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Let's extrapolate that to DirectX as a whole, shall we?
It holds back gaming, right?

There are APIs that suck and APIs that don't.

DXR is a half baked thought pushed out as API.

It does not hold back gaming, it is what it is and helps PC. You are willingly trading off some of the performance that the GPU could deliver to support a bigger ecosystem. It is the other way around.

Look at Tegra in the Switch and look at comparably specced Android phones... it is what it is.

RT is particularly demanding and, given the fact we do not have anywhere near the HW resources to brute force our way out of it or let a black box cover everyone’s use cases, there is request by devs to get access to the lack box underneath to try custom experiments that could be better for their engines built or customised around their use cases. Like the others in the thread comment (Simon F. from IMG Tech, Marco S./nAo ex-NT/ex-Lucasarts/ex-.../nVIDIA know the PC space and console spaces pretty well too), the kind of access he desires is very hard to achieve and demands a much stronger case as you risk producing brittle code that is not suitable for a PC game running on a huge variety of HW.

Nothing controversial really...
 
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Clear

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That will never happen on the PC platform so need to say it. PC is agnostic and has to have general API in order to support multiple configurations. That doesn't matter since a PC will always run any console game better than the console can.

Depends on the PC. The whole point of this thread is the limitations imposed by the abstraction layer(s) stand against efficiency and innovative practice, and as a result the hardware resources will need uprating in order to achieve parity.

Its a weird state of affairs really given how radically the landscape has changed since DX was conceived back in the mid 90's. Back then it was more about compatibility than utility, nowadays the number of vendors has shrunk to a fraction of the size and DX is promoted based more on function and feature than the simple abstraction layer that was originally its purpose.

Not to say that MS are doing a bad job, its just that the nature of the thing is a constant battle against "cruft", the entropic build-up of unwieldy, unwanted code that occurs when successive generations of software and hardware need to be supported.
 

VFXVeteran

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All that hostility - must have hit a nerve :)

You seem too think that APIs are static and as they evolve over time does not decrease the distance between the API and the hardware variants the API can address? You know that is simply not true.

Not sure - given your track record on this site - I would trust you compared to this developer when he is stating that the current RT APIs are not well optimised compared to other sections of the same APIs, i.e. that there is a lot of hardware left on the table.

Are you honestly stating that the RT parts of the DirectX API set are set in stone for the next few years and no optimisation will be done? I cannot believe that is your position. And if it is not - you are in basic agreement with what I stated. So you kind of have a choice - look like a fool claiming that the DirectX RT API set will not improve at all going forward or you are in basic agreement with the developer in the OP and me ;)

Huh? You addressed NOTHING of what I wrote. I never said that DXR would stay stagnant. I addressed your ridiculous claims about console advantage when there is none in the grand scheme of things. Afterall, a console NEEDS optimization. The PC hardware is so far ahead it doesn't need it. It has to stay agnostic for it's entire lifecycle. Bruteforce solutions will always be the norm on the PC.

I look at the amount of RT in Spider Man MM and conclude that it would not even be close to possible to run that on a PC with similar hardware at stable 30FPS

"On similar hardware" is your claim that a console would have an advantage of performance over the PC. But it's already been proven that a 2060S performs better with RT than the consoles. Watch all the DF footage on WDL (which has more accurate RT reflections than Spiderman MM and therefore more expensive). Explain.


The current generation of RT APIs on the PC platform does not allow for that level of optimization.

To the metal hardware access isn't going to happen on a PC because the API isn't that low level. The closest we got is Vulkan. Great memory management for hardware. And not even 10% of the gaming industry uses Vulkan. They are just fine with DX.

While there is always a difference between console and PC in terms of coding close to the metal on the RT side of things the distance between hardware and software is currently prohibitive to do cool things.'

Explain what's prohibitive to do "cool" things. Then give an example of the console doing something cool that the PC can't do. Put your money where your mouth is basically.
 
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Depends on the PC. The whole point of this thread is the limitations imposed by the abstraction layer(s) stand against efficiency and innovative practice, and as a result the hardware resources will need uprating in order to achieve parity.

But that's ALWAYS been the case. That's nothing new. I propose that it doesn't stop innovation AT ALL. In fact, ALL of the innovative efforts in graphics tech has come from the PC using that abstraction layer (MS DX).

Not to say that MS are doing a bad job, its just that the nature of the thing is a constant battle against "cruft", the entropic build-up of unwieldy, unwanted code that occurs when successive generations of software and hardware need to be supported.

It's something we deal with all the time. I'd rather have this layer of abstraction and have complete portability with agnostic algorithms then to cater every single algorithm I make for a specific hardware platform. The PC hardware is always over-engineered to allow a nice buffer for inefficiences. I don't see that going away. The gaming companies thrive better that way. Buy the best hardware and get the best and fastest results. Period.
 

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Then how do i see so many games where small props do cast shadows? In Watchdogs 2 even the the cord in Marcus bag casts a shadow, in RDR2 the bolts in the side of train door also cast shadows, all clean without visible tears. And even if they're using some different technique i don't know about, isn't the end result the same anyway?

No. The prop has to be against another prop. It can't be out in the open. Also, your example of using those advanced shadow techniques become way too costly even for rasterization where your game is bottlenecked by it. You got so many other lighting solutions you need to implement that spending your budget on that shadow is a waste. DeS would indeed look much better with RT shadows and area lights. It doesn't need RT GI.
 
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