During the past few years, ray tracing seems to have become the El Dorado of the real-time 3D world. The rendering technique sparked a peak of interest when a young researcher by the name of Daniel Pohl devoted a research project to the technology in 2004.
The reason the general public took an interest in his work is largely because Pohl chose to focus on id Software's famous Quake III, Quake IV, and Quake Wars 3D shooter game franchise. The researcher got a lot of media coverage and gamers began dreaming of a bright future in which their favorite titles would be ray traced and devoid of rasterization.
Intel soon became aware of the buzz and spotted an ideal way to justify increasing the number of cores in its processors. The company quickly started its own research program and now never misses an opportunity to remind us that ray tracing is the future of real-time 3D games. But is it, really? What technical realities lie behind the marketing hype? What are the real advantages of ray tracing? Can we really expect it to replace rasterization? We'll try to provide some answers to those questions.
Okay, well in real life, the Half Life 2 buggy would be a lot cooler to drive around than a Jetta, but you get the analogy.
there are a lot of diminishing returns i can see in the future, some are, how complex can rasterization can get? what is the diminishing returns for image resolution especially on the desktop/living room?
ray tracing has a lot of room for optimization.
for years to come, indeed, raster is good for what is possible in hardware. look further ahead,more than 5 years, we'll have hardware fast enough and efficient algorithm for ray tracing. not to mention the big cpu companies, amd & intel, who will push this and earn everyones money.
Anyway, what I liked about this article is its being under the hood, but not related to a new product, announcement or such.
"deep tech" articles accompanying product launches tend inevitably to follow the lines of press kits, PR slides, etc.
Articles like this, while take longer to research, are exactly that - they are researched rather than detailing "company X implemented techniques Y and Z in their new product, which works this way, benefits performance that way and is really cool.". it gives an independent, comprehensive view of the subject, and gives the reader real understanding in the field.
I still never read of any dedicated ray-tracing hardware, at any price. It seems the better we understand ray-tracing and it's limitations, the more cloudy the future becomes.
Heh... this article brought to you by Nvidia.
will make raytracing possible.
(Together with a huge number of processing cores per graphic card and an advanced raytracing algorithm.)
I wouldn't mind having just a little bit more technical depth, but I'd be glad to seem more like this on Tom's.