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Crytek's Cevat Yerli Speaks on Rasterization and Ray Tracing

PC Perspective writes: "In our continued quest to bring you all the answers (and questions) around ray tracing and gaming, we have published quite a few articles from our own editorial staff as well as interviews with key people in the gaming industry. We have had Daniel Pohl, previously a college student doing research but subsequently hired by Intel for their own research, write a pair of articles that analyze how ray tracing might be the future for gaming on the PC and elsewhere. I also interviewed Dr. David Kirk, Chief Scientist at NVIDIA on the topic of rasterization and ray tracing and most recently had a very in-depth conversation with id Software's John Carmack on the very same topic that you can also get in podcast form."

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ip-student3510d ago

The biggest advantage that ray tracing has is that it automatically gives high quality results. Rasterization is more efficient on the transistor side for reasonable graphics but if you want to have near life-like graphics then you need a lot more triangles and ray tracing is a must (IMO). But the advantage of ray tracing is greater than that - it allows procedural generation or very high level creation of content with the ability to automatically make that content look great. Plus you get intersection for basically free - so physics can be easy improved. And if you throw in a motion engine like what is used in GTA IV - well you can do amazing things. A DVD might be more than you need - assuming you actually can save data to the HDD (hint hint MS). Thus, I see the ray tracing model winning not because it is going to have a huge performance advantage when running but because it is going to greatly lower the cost of producing games.

But I think it will be 2011-2012 before this is realistically possible so I hope both Sony and MS wait until then to pop out the next gen console. This could be a case of where going first kills you on the developer side - you gamble that rasterization is good enough and your competitor manages to pull the rug out from under you. The nice thing for a console is there is never going to be a need to go above 1080p so all you have to do is aim for that and you are good.

The next 4 years could be the most interesting years for consoles ever - IMO - because there is a potential for a complete paradigm shift. Time will tell.

bootsielon3510d ago

don't you need tons of computational power?

ip-student3510d ago

But once you ramp up the detail (by increaseing the number of triangles, for example) the ray tracing model becomes more efficient. It is computationally expensive but if the power is available then it is a lot cheaper to use the power when you play rather then to spend hundreds of hours creating content and shadow maps and the like.

In other words, if the power is available then you change change how you approach creating a video game and there is a potential for a huge cost savings in making games (or an amazing increase in what you can do in the game).