I think that ray tracing is an interesting feature that could help to make games look better while reducing the workload for visual artists, but I think it's being pushed way too hard by hardware producers as this next big thing, while the actual tech is simply not there yet to support it efficiently. I would much rather see this processing power used for things that can look actually impressive, like more advanced physics or high-resolution, high-framerate performance.
it's really the next big thing in graphics
It's the next real big thing
RT is the only way in CG to have realistic dynamic lighting
It's the holy grail of scene lighting in computer graphics
it's essentially the holy grail of graphics technology
It's the most advanced tech since going 3D
Full ray tracing is the future of real-time rendering
Ray-tracing is the oldest, the most straight-forward and the most "stupid" technology in computer graphics.
There are a lot of much more modern and better looking methods, that don't take years to render:
- Path tracing
- Metropolis light transport
- Photon mapping
The problem is that you probably drank NV coll-aid too eagerly. NV called their implementation of dynamic pipeline - RTX, for marketing reasons.
It should have been called DRX: "dynamic rendering pipeline" or something similar. But NV always thinks that their fans are stupid... (see 4080 12GB)
The idea of RTX is to remove "rasterization" as the only "fixed function" step that's left in the pipeline.
Essentially we had "vertex shaders", "pixel shaders" and instead of "rasterization shaders" we got RTX.
Which is a pretty convoluted and simplistic implementation of what it should have been.
It's akin to launch of GeForce 2 GTS in the day where "Transform & Lighting" was introduced.
A precursor to the real shader implementation that worked as intended (in Geforce FX 5XXX).
You should expect at least 3 generations here too.
See Metro Exodus or Dying Light 2 with RT ON and OFF.
These are the games with one of the worst art directions I've ever seen.
No wonder they look "good" with RTX. It's only because they look atrocious without it...