Real-Time Ray Tracing: Holy Grail or Fools' Errand?

Dean Calver explores the possibilities of real time ray tracing:

"Browse the world of real-time computer graphics, and you'll find the oft quoted meme: "One day we will have real-time ray tracing, and graphics will be so much better!" This is because many people hold up ray tracing as the solution to realistic lighting and as such, they view current rasterisation renderers as used in GPUs and consoles today as inherently inferior.

Indeed, according to Wikipedia, rasterisation "is not based on physical light transport and is therefore incapable of correctly simulating many complex real-life lighting situations." Ray tracing, on the other hand, "facilitates more advanced optical effects, such as accurate simulations of reflection and refraction, and is still efficient enough to frequently be of practical use when such high quality output is sought."

So roll on, real-time ray tracing! Or are there some caveats that the proponents of ray tracing handily forget to mention?"

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richie007bond4482d ago

Cant wait,i just hope its within the next few years.How powerfull do graphics cards have to be to ray trace in real time and have smooth frames rates,will it depend on a powerfull cpu,i dont really know but it sure does sound exciting,roll on the future of video games

JsonHenry4482d ago

I think it might play a part in the future, but it is certainly no holy grail in terms of visuals.

And yes, the PS3 can do it better, but it can BARELY do it as well.

I don't think very many people on here know what Ray Tracing is.

nasim4482d ago

not even 8800 GTX can do that


XENON cant even do primary rays

sak5004482d ago

I thought this cud be done on ps2. Pixar like graphics promised by sony in 2000.

sak5004482d ago (Edited 4481d ago )

Oops double post

popup4482d ago

I certainly know what ray tracing is and have enjoyed using RT software since the late 1980's including such classics as POV-Ray, Lightwave (Amiga) and 3d studio to name but a few.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 4482d ago
SonySoldiers4482d ago (Edited 4482d ago )

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A PS3 can do it better @60FPS 1080P, hands down!
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Play the future NOW.

techie4482d ago

Dean Calver is a Ninja Theory dev.

mighty_douche4482d ago is indeed the 'future'. but its a long way off as yet, this generations of consoles wont see it for example. plus developers dont like to change how things work, means they have to learn something new. Multiple Core CPU's for example, when first released game developers said there was no need for them and they're to much work. but now, most new pc games REQUIRE multiple cores to meet recommended specs.

ironwolf4482d ago (Edited 4482d ago )

read the article, did you? I didn't think so. Whats the matter? Words to big?

Sorry, MD, this was aimed at the first three commenters that obviously didn't get beyond the headlines.

techie4482d ago

Amazing isn't it. I don't think n4g is the place for this article...but I always have hope.

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