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Returnal Will Support Ray Tracing and 60 Frames Per Second at 4K Resolution

Clear

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Many games approximate the real math behind these graphics algorithms because they are too expensive for hardware in realtime. We all know this. For example, putting in an ambient term into the rendering equation is wrong. Moreover it's not energy-conserving at all. And yet, that's what games do to simulate proper GI. There are numerous examples of this. So there is an "how it should be implemented" vs. how dev try to approximate it.

Its all about accomplishing the desired effect within the target budget; attempting something "by the book" is just poor coding if it fails to achieve either.

Game engine optimization is not an academic test, its about creativity and ingenuity. Because above all else its about run-time efficiency.

There's nothing clever about implementing known algorithms if their performance cost is disproportionately high compared to their utility. Essentially that's your (the coder's) start-point, from where you seek to gain the effect -or a reasonable facsimile thereof- by taking whatever alternative route you can find.

The important thing is that whatever you do, certain calculations will always be part of the process because they are fundamental. You will always need to do intersection tests, which means that were fundamental math like dot-products to be Thanos snapped out of existence everything would collapse!

Ray Tracing is simply a form of intersection testing. What you do with the results of the test, what parameters you pass, what additional computation you add or omit due to it are extraneous to the definition.
 

Thirty7ven

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Honestly I never really expected Returnal to be some sort of visual benchmark so I don’t really care what it’s doing at a technical level considering it looks so good in motion. It’s Housemarque and it’s their first production of this scale, and more than the visuals it seems that it really pulls through on the whole package with great effects, fluidity, audio and even the dual sense integration. It all seems to come together during gameplay, and that’s pretty special.
 

M1chl

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I’m not paying £70 to play this day one.

But I will pay £69.99
What a great Czech innovation to the world, you are welcome.

Tomáš Baťa - Wikipedia

Also typical is so called "Baťa price", establishing a price usually ending in the number nine. He found that psychologically, a price of 99 or 19.99 was apparently more appealing to customers than a rounded number, such as 100 or 20, even though the difference is just 1 currency unit.
 

VFXVeteran

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The light sources that are emitters is the key here as the more they trace back to the more expensive it will be.
I will test this theory when I get the game. As of now, I see no indication of secondary bounced GI lighting in any of the gameplay. That seems very odd to me as Cyberpunk/Metro footage were clearly apparent. If they use it very sparringly that would explain the high FPS without any DLSS solution.

As an aside, I doubt every single light source emitter is a bounced GI light source. Some of the light emitters aren't even lights (just glow textures). Others don't even cast shadows. Most games using GI light bounce is the sun. Others are limited to just one light source like the flashlight in Uncharted/TLoU.
 
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NXGamer

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I will test this theory when I get the game. As of now, I see no indication of secondary bounced GI lighting in any of the gameplay. That seems very odd to me as Cyberpunk/Metro footage were clearly apparent. If they use it very sparringly that would explain the high FPS without any DLSS solution.

As an aside, I doubt every single light source emitter is a bounced GI light source. Some of the light emitters aren't even lights (just glow textures). Others don't even cast shadows. Most games using GI light bounce is the sun. Others are limited to just one light source like the flashlight in Uncharted/TLoU.
Yep, most RT GI solutions will only allocate 1 light source that is a Radiosity emitter, the emissive textures and particles would not be included in that.
 

Clear

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Isn't it simply a case that Housemarque are just augmenting UE4 with their own particle and vfx suite? That being the case wouldn't it follow that their custom elements are where they are doing all the RT work, and in a form specifically tailored to their signature particle-heavy style?

I'd suspect that scene geometry lighting is pretty standard, given the type of game I'd imagine that they outsourced the asset production for all the prefab "rooms" as that sort of volume productivity isn't their wheelhouse as a company. Allowing them to focus more on the dynamics.
 
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You don't see reason of the hype around 4k DRS 60 FPS with raytracing on console? ....ok.
I don't think it looks better than some current ps5 games. What's the AVG resolution?
PS5 being unavailable or just not contemplating possibly purchasing one?
I was really considering one before launch. I then got a 3060ti and sold my 2060 for around 100$ less. Hadn't thought about getting a ps5 since. I will reconsider once the used market is at actual used prices in a year or 2. If a bunch of Sony games are announced for PC by then I'll probably just pass altogether on one as PC is my preferred platform and I'm super cheap.
 

Thirty7ven

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Isn't it simply a case that Housemarque are just augmenting UE4 with their own particle and vfx suite? That being the case wouldn't it follow that their custom elements are where they are doing all the RT work, and in a form specifically tailored to their signature particle-heavy style?

I'd suspect that scene geometry lighting is pretty standard, given the type of game I'd imagine that they outsourced the asset production for all the prefab "rooms" as that sort of volume productivity isn't their wheelhouse as a company. Allowing them to focus more on the dynamics.

With these bigger projects Unreal engine is more about tools that allow devs to hit the ground running and then propriety tech gets added on top etc
 

Clear

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With these bigger projects Unreal engine is more about tools that allow devs to hit the ground running and then propriety tech gets added on top etc

Yes, but Housemarque are relatively small, so any project that requires a lot of graphical assets is a natural fit for engaging a third-party to provide them. Its not just a matter of attracting talent, its about integrating and organizing them into the newly enlarged company structure.

Its simply better, as well as more effective to outsource under such circumstances. The kicker is of course that generally any incoming materials will be supplied in an industry standard format, so if your in-house tech requires specifically structured data then you need an interstitial process to convert it. No matter how good your importer system is, you still need to validate it, and do any cleanup required. As a result is beneficial to deal with standard formats wherever you can, and UE is as good a choice as any in this regard because QA can be handled the same for both the studio and the outsourcing partner.

Housemarque has been moving towards UE for awhile now, with Matterfall being their first published project and the suspended Stormdivers being the original target for allying their in-house tech with Epic's standard model.

In the context of the thread topic, it does suggest to me that they'd likely want to separate "church and state" so-to-speak by keeping their specialized internal tech (particle and vfx systems) somewhat separate to the general scene pipeline. Which means that I'd expect that you'd observe the more advanced techniques to be more post-fx based than integral to the renderer.
 

Derktron

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Meanwhile, Capcom is making RT with 45fps on all systems, keep in mind the game is made by an indie dev backed by Sony. So kudos to them.
 
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Shmunter

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When push comes to shove, noone gives a shit whether it's 1440p, 1800p or native 4k. Unless you're counting pixels for a living or you're a hardcore fanboy, it's pure nonsense.

Returnal looks amazing and is currently on top of my to-play list, whenever the PS5 becomes widely available sometime in 2023 or 2024.
You still haven’t secured one? Damn.
 

Clear

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Meanwhile, Capcom is making RT with 45fps on all systems, keep in mind the game is made by an indie dev backed by Sony. So kudos to them.

Using their fully proprietary RE Engine. Big diff between that and what Housmarque are using.

If its top-to-tail your own tech... you have a lot more latitude for integration.
 
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Jack Uzi

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HEY.... he’s a veteran.
 
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01011001

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It's funny how some are saying that it's false marketing but nobody takes the time to prove that.

If people are going to accuse Sony of lying they might as well bring evidence. If not then they should stop trying to discredit the developers accomplishments.

Star Wars Reaction GIF by Disney+

they aren't lying, it's more like that the RT lighting in this game is the most basic form you could ever imagine, so basic that it's not really noticeable. it's only really there because the randomly generated levels would be harder to light with other methods, it's more natural looking and way easier for the devs to use RT GI here. so it would undoubtedly look worse without it, but you would only know it's there once you've seen the same scene without it there.
 
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VFXVeteran

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Meanwhile, Capcom is making RT with 45fps on all systems, keep in mind the game is made by an indie dev backed by Sony. So kudos to them.
RE8 RT is using the more expensive GI bounced lighting so that seems correct to me and feasible with these consoles. Using RT GI 6 60fps though where noone can even notice the 2nd bounce does NOT seem normal. I am beginning to believe Clear Clear and 01011001 01011001 that the RT isn't used for bounced light.
 
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01011001

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RE8 RT is using the more expensive GI bounced lighting so that seems correct to me and feasible with these consoles. Using RT GI 6 60fps though where noone can even notice the 2nd bounce does NOT seem normal. I am beginning to believe Clear Clear and 01011001 01011001 that the RT isn't used for visuals.

well it is used for visuals. I don't think they use it just for fun. depending on how random the level structures truly are it might have been an unthinkable task to have somewhat good looking lighting without RT.
 

VFXVeteran

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well it is used for visuals. I don't think they use it just for fun. depending on how random the level structures truly are it might have been an unthinkable task to have somewhat good looking lighting without RT.
I'm looking for GI period. I know what to look for when it's implemented properly. It was shown easily on RE8 demo. Every single clip we've seen of Returnal has 0 signs of using GI bounced light. None.

They are not going to use it with all the fake particle lights on the level. ONE lightsource will be a GI light source.. so where is it is the question. Hopefully NXGamer NXGamer or DF will track it down before I get my hands on it... :) If we don't find it, then they are using the RT in a non-standard way and it will explain the 60FPS.
 
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01011001

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I'm looking for GI period. I know what to look for when it's implemented properly. It was shown easily on RE8 demo. Every single clip we've seen of Returnal has 0 signs of using GI bounced light. None.

it's a very dark game I guess... really hard to spot any light that's not the neon bullets and some of the shadow casting lights in the game 🤷‍♂️
it is gonna be interesting when people will get their hands on it.
 
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VFXVeteran

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it's a very dark game I guess... really hard to spot any light that's not the neon bullets and some of the shadow casting lights in the game 🤷‍♂️
We'll find it or it won't be found that way and it won't be a true GI bounce light (which is what I'm thinking).
 

Rea

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they aren't lying, it's more like that the RT lighting in this game is the most basic form you could ever imagine, so basic that it's not really noticeable. it's only really there because the randomly generated levels would be harder to light with other methods, it's more natural looking and way easier for the devs to use RT GI here. so it would undoubtedly look worse without it, but you would only know it's there once you've seen the same scene without it there.
Wtf is basic RT? Never heard of that. LoL
 
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01011001

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Wtf is basic RT? Never heard of that. LoL

basic as in it doesn't take much processing power and it is VERRRRRY subtle to the point where noone would know it was there if they didn't tell you

I shoulda said low cost RT. Gears 5 also has Raytraced Global Illumination, and that implementation is so low on the performance cost side that it runs in software and doesn't even use the RT acceleration hardware. it's actually an Unreal Engine 4 feature that they were among the first to use
 
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Using their fully proprietary RE Engine. Big diff between that and what Housmarque are using.

If its top-to-tail your own tech... you have a lot more latitude for integration.
Also, combine that with it being a PS5 exclusive. Pouring all resources into one single platform is clearly different from needing to allocate resources for several platforms, including PC and last-gen consoles.

That's one very positive aspect of exclusives that a lot of people seem to be missing.
 
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Mister Wolf

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basic as in it doesn't take much processing power and it is VERRRRRY subtle to the point where noone would know it was there if they didn't tell you

I shoulda said low cost RT. Gears 5 also has RT GI, that implementation is so low on the performance cost side that it runs in software and doesn't even use the RT acceleration hardware. it's actually an Unreal Engine 4 feature that they were among the first to use

I don't think most people consider Screen Space GI to be RTGI. The developers at Epic certainly don't.
 
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01011001

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I don't think most people consider screen space GI to be RTGI. The developers at Epic certainly don't.

it is raytraced tho. and for all we know Returnal might also only trace in screenspace. and the developers at epic certainly do :) they specifically call it SSRTGI (Screen Space RayTraced Global Illumination), tho they might have a more flashy name for it specifically in UE4 maybe, no idea... but that's what it technically is
 
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Rea

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basic as in it doesn't take much processing power and it is VERRRRRY subtle to the point where noone would know it was there if they didn't tell you

I shoulda said low cost RT. Gears 5 also has Raytraced Global Illumination, and that implementation is so low on the performance cost side that it runs in software and doesn't even use the RT acceleration hardware. it's actually an Unreal Engine 4 feature that they were among the first to use
What makes you think or say that Returnal is not using hardware accelerated ray tracing. We cannot judge based on what we see. We should just wait for Df or Nx gamer analysis when the full game is coming out.
 

lh032

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People who argues about ray tracing, fidelity, ML etc, they just argue for the sake of "lmao my console is better than yours". They dont even understand what are the features about.

It's like watching DF videos and arguing about native 4k and dynamic 4k when it is literraly impossible to differentiate during gameplay.

For me, as long the game is visually stunning i'm happy, its not like i paused my game half way and ask myself "is it native or dynamic 4k here? is there ML here? which part is real ray tracing?"
 

GymWolf

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It's probably never coming to PC. that's been the case with all Housemarque's games for Sony.

Not saying things can't change at any time. but seriously don't get your hopes up.
I have the impression that everything sony does is gonna end on pc sooner or later.

A roguelite? A very beloved genre on pc?! Probably sooner than later (compared to something like ratchet or horizon 2).
 
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Uncharted bunghole
it is raytraced tho. and for all we know Returnal might also only trace in screenspace. and the developers at epic certainly do :) they specifically call it SSRTGI (Screen Space RayTraced Global Illumination), tho they might have a more flashy name for it specifically in UE4 maybe, no idea... but that's what it technically is

There's also RT reflections BTW. Like work the surfaces inside the house. NXgamer pointed out where the RT takes place in his video.
 
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VFXVeteran

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I think is because of the red light from the sand reflecting on her suit
That's not how bounce light works. There must be a direct lightsource shining on the sand first. Otherwise it can be an invisible point light shining on her suit from being over that area which is considered a direct light source.. not a GI light.
 
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