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Opinion Analysis Ray Tracing is a Waste

regawdless

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If done right and implemented well, raytracing is amazing and totally worth it.

Control looks bonkers and is a huge step up. Raytraced shadows and the reflections add so much.
Even only the reflections in WD Legion make the world more believable in motion. Sucks though that the puddles for example are static.

But again, we are at the total beginning and some implementations are not worth the performance hit yet.
 
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The_Mike

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OP Ray tracing is the most "next gen" feature there can possible be.

It's true its a waste on console given how weak they are and how these stupid devs are still focusing on 4k, but on the pc it's the most beautiful thing to see.

Check out digital foundrys take on bf5 Ray tracing
Also, while rt were insanely taxing at bf5 release they did optimize a lot since then.
 

magaman

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How far we are from that level of physics in every game? 20 years? More?

Depends on what you're simulating and the context in which it is being simulated, right? Let's take that example you shared. The video is from 2019, and let's assume you have a monster PC.
  • The only thing on your screen is a sponge that can be ripped apart.
  • There are no other physicalized objects on screen
  • There are no other physics calculations to eat up processing power
  • The physics are simulated down the absolute smallest detail
This is different, than say, a game where:
  • You're attacking an alien lair, and the door is made of some sponge-like material
  • You shoot at it with your machine gun, which tears away at the sponge
  • The physics are not simulated down to the absolute smallest detail
The practical application of something like this is probably doable today in some ways (limited, small scope, and targeted to use beastly hardware). But nobody in their right minds will develop for hardware that the general public doesn't have access to. Will it happen in this generation? No. Will it happen in 2027 with PS6/XSX2? Maybe.
 

Black_Stride

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global illumination is manageable, this is available on PS4, it's when you get to reflections that things become very resource expensive..

Actually GI is much more expensive than reflections.

Id argue that GI is the single most expensive RT feature especially when paired with good PBR materials.....all that bounce lighting will completely fuck up your system.

Its part of the reason a ton of people are working on getting "cheap" but good Global Illumination its such an intensive feature yet so transformative that we have to come up with a technique to do it without completely tanking performance.

Note that perfect reflections are actually pretty cheap, ask anyone who has ever had to render out mirrors or super shiny surfaces.....then need to make the reflections more diffuse, their sample/s drops massively.
But the way most games are using reflections right now.....the cost isnt the same level as GI.

Fortnite is just one of those game that doesnt really need RT to look better, it already has that look down pat.



You say we have good GI on PS4?
What games have good GI on PS4......and im not talking about baked lighting because then everything dynamic is ignored in the scene....who wants to play a totally static videogame?
 

GymWolf

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Depends on what you're simulating and the context in which it is being simulated, right? Let's take that example you shared. The video is from 2019, and let's assume you have a monster PC.
  • The only thing on your screen is a sponge that can be ripped apart.
  • There are no other physicalized objects on screen
  • There are no other physics calculations to eat up processing power
  • The physics are simulated down the absolute smallest detail
This is different, than say, a game where:
  • You're attacking an alien lair, and the door is made of some sponge-like material
  • You shoot at it with your machine gun, which tears away at the sponge
  • The physics are not simulated down to the absolute smallest detail
The practical application of something like this is probably doable today in some ways (limited, small scope, and targeted to use beastly hardware). But nobody in their right minds will develop for hardware that the general public doesn't have access to. Will it happen in this generation? No. Will it happen in 2027 with PS6/XSX2? Maybe.
I mean this level of physics in huge games, having this stuff just as a tech demo in a room is not nearly enough.

I can't wait, this is the most exciting stuff for me, but imo is not that close, i really doubt that next-next gen is gonna have something similar, this stuff is kinda rare even in pixar movies...
 
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xPikYx

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This should be a forum of people passionate about games, graphics and technological advancements, so I don't understand how people can say things like this whereas raytracing is the holy graal of graphics since ages
 

yurinka

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Looking at Fortnite RT off looks better most of time here..


Using 20-30% of the resources on RT is a waste for some games that should just go for more res or FPS. Handcrafted baked lighting is better in situations. even in film the lighting is touched up and unnatural before filming and even more during editing. IMOO the best utilization is in photo realistic games. Another issue is that RT is at times over-implemented, in some games every surface is like a polished mirror, real life is not like that.

I think RT is overhyped and utilization will be softened after the fad phase.
No, RT is a great addition. But like everything it depends on the implementation, expertise and the specific case.

This is the first game where their devs use it, and they patched its support to an old game not made to use RT without remaking the whole art of the game. And being a multiplatform (or PC) game they must keep the game prepared to run without RT. So obviously will look somewhat poor than in other cases:

On future games created since the start with RT in mind, to use it always without needing to have a non-RT version (as will be the case of upcoming PS5 exclusives), with knowledge and expertise of having included it in previous games, RT will look way better.

Even in brand new games to be released soon, including PS5 exclusives, they started their development without knowing they would be able to use RT, so since the games weren't designed around RT since the start, some of them won't support RT and other ones very likely will have a somewhat poor implementation. Over time these devs will improve and future games designed with that in mind will look way better.
 

papersleeves

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Looking at Fortnite RT off looks better most of time here..


Using 20-30% of the resources on RT is a waste for some games that should just go for more res or FPS. Handcrafted baked lighting is better in situations. even in film the lighting is touched up and unnatural before filming and even more during editing. IMOO the best utilization is in photo realistic games. Another issue is that RT is at times over-implemented, in some games every surface is like a polished mirror, real life is not like that.

I think RT is overhyped and utilization will be softened after the fad phase.

You just picked what is perhaps the worse example of Ray Tracing show-off. I suggest you have a look at the difference between Watch Dogs Legion with RT on vs off to get a better idea of the changes this feature can make.
 

Kssio_Aug

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I don't think RT is a waste at all. But I do think that, in case by case scenario that should be valued by devs, if it compromises too much performance and doesn't make the game absolutely prettier, it's not worth it yet.

I think many games from the 1st and 2nd year of next-gen will be heavily using RT as a showcase. After that it might only be used in certain places here and there to keep performance in check, if using at all. Until we have the proper hardware to run RT with stable frame rate, I also think we will have many scenarios where it will be preferable to turn it off in exchange for performance.
 

PaNaMa

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Raytraced lighting and reflections and whatever are nice, and more realistic, but they just don't make my jaw drop over a well done baked in global illumination solution.
Like give me the latter at higher resolutions, framerates, and other effects and I'm totally happy to not have real time raytracing.

Would I obsess over a puddle or a shiny surface on which a reflection or light bounce doesn't appear as accurate as it could if it was fully ray traced, like I'm Alex Battaglia or something? I could. People are making a living doing that now. But I wouldn't, cause the game would look awesome and run buttery smooth, and I'd probably want to spend more time playing it than pausing it to find things I wasn't even going to notice before Nvidia paid people to start caring in the first place. Humbug I say, to raytracing :p
 
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ShadowLag

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Ray Tracing is a technique used to make things more accurate. Your hardware is either powerful enough to use it, or it isn't - or it's somewhere in between. The phrase "RT is a waste" makes absolutely no sense, unless you're referring to how much of a dev's hardware budget they choose to spend on it at the cost of something else on a weak machine - which, pretty soon, will be a non-issue as hardware continues to improve. It's like saying "1080p is a waste and/or fad" when the PS3 came out. Ray Tracing WILL be everywhere eventually, and it won't be an option - it'll just be the way games are rendered by default. It's what real-time graphics have been dreaming of for years. It doesn't have to be used for realistic graphics btw - it can be adapted for whatever art style you're going for.
 
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DJ Shalad

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4K is the bigger waste. Even a 3090 cant handle games at ultra 4K with RT. That card is like 20 days old?
 
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magaman

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I mean this level of physics in huge games, having this stuff just as a tech demo in a room is not nearly enough.

I can't wait, this is the most exciting stuff for me, but imo is not that close, i really doubt that next-next gen is gonna have something similar, this stuff is kinda rare even in pixar movies...

I agree that insane physics details won't be present anytime soon. But I do think we'll see some crazy shit with cloth, destruction, and maybe liquid physics this gen. The next generational leap may offer dedicated cores to physics (similar to how PhysX was supposed to handle).
 

Bogey

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I think it should be mandatory to read the following article, before discussing anything about Raytracing:


TL;DR: There are tons of different techniques that all fall into the category Raytracing.
- Some that have limited performance impact and very limited impact on overall visuals, e.g. Reflections and Shadows. Eg Battlefield V
- Some that have a larger performance impact and more noticeable visual impact, such as Global Illumination (Metro: Exocus)
- Some whose performance impact is so large that it is currently impossible in any modern game,except for ones with VERY simple geometry/materials. Such as path tracing. Visual impact is ENORMOUS. Examples: Quake 2 RTX, Minecraft RTX

The latter is the holy grail. The former ones are baby toys barely worth the performance impact (imho), but probably great to push overall research and hardware development further, so we can eventually reach the latter (path tracing) even for modern, complex games.
 
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GymWolf

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I agree that insane physics details won't be present anytime soon. But I do think we'll see some crazy shit with cloth, destruction, and maybe liquid physics this gen. The next generational leap may offer dedicated cores to physics (similar to how PhysX was supposed to handle).
So you think that the underpowered ryzen 2 inside the console are enough for some noticeable jump in big heavy games??

I mean, i guess they are...at least compared to the shitty jaguars we have now.
 

magaman

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So you think that the underpowered ryzen 2 inside the console are enough for some noticeable jump in big heavy games??

I mean, i guess they are...at least compared to the shitty jaguars we have now.

Games can only be pushed as far as the lowest common denominator allows them to push. So when you have XB1 and PS4 games as part of development, you simply can't develop out entire systems that they can't use.

The new gen will at least enable new and advanced ways of doing things. Not saying to the degree we want, but it's better than what we're used to.
 
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Tell_men

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Raytracing is the endgame. The fact that we are at this point now in 3d gaming where ray tracing is being implemented is amazing. Give it 5 years from now and let the technology mature and it will as u say produce photo realistic results. Right now, it’s in its infantile state.
 
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JLB

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With all respect OP, what a dumb reasoning.
So I guess that if you are presented with the most horrible 3d game in history, let say Big Rigs, your logical conclusion would be "3d is a waste".
 

Fictive

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RTGI is solid. I don't mind screen-space reflections since, in most cases, it convinces my eyes into thinking something should be reflecting off this or that surface there (and there is). My eyes don't question the transformations as much so I'm alright with that.
 

Ascend

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Graphics should enhance gameplay. For as long as they are not, the graphics are a mere nice to have and not mandatory. There are some mechanics that could theoretically only be done with RT. But those won't likely take off until RT is mainstream, which will take a couple of years at least... And considering the performance hit, RT is more likely to be a liability than an asset.
 

MastAndo

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I wouldn't go that far, but I don't "get" the obsession with it - at least not yet. Maybe I'm blind, but I was watching the Watch Dogs Legion RT comparison video, and it all looks like shiny puddles and mirrors to me. It also seems distractingly overcooked at times.

I suppose my opinion will change when it generally takes less of a toll on frames, but at this point, I'm not sure I see it as being worth it. I'd like to see it have more of an effect on global lighting, and I'll probably change my tune.
 
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Kimahri

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It's gonna be great eventually, but right now it feels like this gens bump mapping. Instead of everything looking like wet mud, now things look like mirrors. It's not particularly pretty, but in a few years I'm sure more devs will learn to use it wisely.
 

Alebrije

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RT is great but if you have to sacrifice other spects in order to have good quality RT y will always prefer non RT game with a 60/120 fps 4K native or dynamic.

RT on consoles is a spect that will shine on PS6 or PS5 pro...not now.
 

mancs

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Ray traced? In comparison, the trees are static in reflections? In both
 

OutRun88

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As always, having the option to turn it off or on is all that is needed.
If you feel it isn’t worth the performance hit then don’t use it. But to say it doesn’t drastically increase the visuals (in most cases) is a bit of a farce.
 
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Graphical improvements that ate up console framerates in past didn't receive backlash. This one has a name though that the laymen are aware of and therefore it's bad. RT looks better and is easier to implement than fake effects that require more effort from the developers. Sorry if you don't like it, but it's here to stay and eventually the hardware will catch up to the point where it's not nearly as taxing. Then you can be mad at whatever new effect is out there making you mad for no reason.
 
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PlayerPurple

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RT is not a gimmick. it's literally the way every high end offline renderer works. those you see in cg in a film or an animated movie.

the thing is we are literally at the beginning of real time rt because it's super expensive. just a frame of a film takes hours to render

if a game looks good that's because artists and engineers are super talented and they spend hours and hours and hours baking and FAKING lighting so it looks good not because rt is bad.

right now we have games that need to support regular rasterization because rt is not only expensive but no one has a rt card to play. so we have a game full of fake lighting (that look really good) and rt on top of that (that is super expensive and doesn't look as good). the real change is going to be when games leave rasterization behind and start using rt as a default method.

this is like seeing cloud's 3D model in ffvii and saying god this looks like shit fei fong wong of xenogears looks so much better. and someone is telling you yes it looks like shit because 3d models are super expensive and we are at the beginning but they'll get better and you'll see they are going to be amazing.



While this is absolutely correct, I think OP is saying that the benefit RT brings might not be worth the cost.

Were 3D Graphics worth the tradeoff of lesser performance on PS1? Yes. There's a night & day difference between 2D graphics & 3D.

I'm not sure the same can be said for baked lighting vs ray tracing. Especially since most (all?) console RT games shown so far are stuck at 30fps.
 
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mancs

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Raytracing. A gimmick?? 💯 Not , if implemented correctly , say , for instance , a horror game , real time reflections and lighting reflections , are a mood must.
 
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llien

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That subject line is kind of misleading once you read the actual OP.

Yes, poorly implemented RT is bad. So is poorly implemented SSR, or DRS, or whatever, because it's poorly implemented.

There is only a handful of games with RT.
Wolfenstain complained using DXR API leads to bugs and performance htis, so they switched to NV proprietary.
Even in that handful of games who bothered to do it, it is merely a "drop my framerate" checkbox with barely any impact on visuals (WoW anyone)

It looks impressive only in games like Minecraft, which barely used any lightning effect... but that is not the way most games are.

Raytracing. A gimmick?? 💯 Not , if implemented correctly
 
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Bogey

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It looks impressive only in games like Minecraft, which barely used any lightning effect... but that is not the way most games are.

As pointed out above - the reason Minecraft RTX looks impressive is that is one of only two games (quake 2 rtx being the other one) that uses path tracing.

Pretty much any other game would look absolutely incredible as well if using that. Performance isn't there yet though, you wouldn't get runnable framerates. Minecraft only works because of its super simple geometry (and materials)
 
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Balducci30

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What I’ve noticed is that the people super into raytracing are more excited about what it means for the future when we have the ability to fully raytrace an entire scene. But right now I agree, we just aren’t at the point where what we can do with it is beneficial enough for the trade offs.
 

mancs

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NOT WORTH IT?? WHOM TOO , THIS NOT WORTH IT BS , IS FKIN LAUGHABLE.. not worth it... res gain.. not worth it , raytracing , making the game look a fkin billion times better.. not worth it?? can someone please explain to me , wtf they're on... lol.

not worth it,... imagine it , that term being used throughout history , fkin heck , we would still be rolling in fred flintstone mobiles... mind boggles lol.

NOT WORTH IT , if your system cannot run it , or you cannot afford it.
 
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