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Mesa Merge Pending For Vulkan Ray-Tracing On Older AMD GPUs

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  • #21
    Originally posted by bridgman View Post
    Don't know for sure, but my understanding is that it takes a massive amount of developer effort to get sophisticated lighting with conventional techniques
    It would probably be fair to say that even "massive effort" is an understatement for the majority of devs/houses: it's simply beyond most of them (either absolutely, or to an extent that makes it impractical), hence the reliance on UE etc.

    > while getting close to the same results with ray tracing can be a lot easier and faster.

    RT is certainly a lot easier to implement (and more importantly, easier on the asset pipeline) but I think "close to" is a bit optimistic. Since none of the cards out there ATM are capable of actually rendering full scenes in realtime, current RT is more a case of moving rendering to a hybrid model rather than having "real" GI. It does (or at least, can) produce "better" results for the same time budget than current techniques, which is what matters, but the HW still needs to be massively more powerful than the current generation to be able to discard "old" rendering completely - probably to such an extent that it will simply never happen.
    You can undersample rays quite a lot and "get away with it" (apparently especially if you add "AI" to your marketing :P), and VSR for RT is the obvious next step if it isn't already in place, but even with all the approximations we're still more than an order of magnitude away from the horsepower needed for an RT-only pipeline to be able to match the visuals of current games.

    But that's hardly a new position to be in. We've had hybrid lighting since Quake - i.e. pretty much the dawn of time - and it hasn't stopped engines improving beyond recognition from one decade to the next. Even going back that far makes it easy to see where RT *does* fit in well, replacing baked lightmaps with dynamically-generated ones (and you can cheat on the update rate too, if you have to) as the most obvious example.

    > I'm not suggesting that game development will get easier and nothing else will change, but rather that once game developers have had the chance to spend more time with ray tracing they may be able to get same or better results with same or less effort.

    Assuming by "game developers" you mean "downstream of the engine devs", I think that's probably correct.
    For engine devs, it actually means a move *away* from unified lighting models after finally getting there a few years ago back to hybrid models. But like I say, things have been like that for so long that it's barely an irritation let alone a problem - and I've never met an engine dev yet who didn't *enjoy* messing around with new methods anyway, so...

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    • #22
      Originally posted by arQon View Post
      > I'm not suggesting that game development will get easier and nothing else will change, but rather that once game developers have had the chance to spend more time with ray tracing they may be able to get same or better results with same or less effort.

      Assuming by "game developers" you mean "downstream of the engine devs", I think that's probably correct.
      For engine devs, it actually means a move *away* from unified lighting models after finally getting there a few years ago back to hybrid models.
      All good points. I had not gotten as far as thinking about engine devs vs gaming devs... just "upstream of the customer"
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      • #23
        Does this work on non AMD GPUs, e.g Intel?

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