Realtime GPU Raytracing In Games Is Finally Coming With Nvidia Volta/ RTX / DirectX12

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  2 Weeks Ago
So we aren't going to have real-time V-Ray yet, but I think folks are being a little harsh on this. This means eventually, slowly, some of the grunt work of real-time graphics (baking lighting, fussing with shadow settings) begins to go away. When all of that stuff "just works" the artists can be artists again. I think the offline equivalent is going from something like Mental Ray back in the day to an unbiased solution like Maxwell, Corona, or Arnold. A lot of the tricky trouble-shooting and tweaking just works and gets taken off your plate.

Keep in mind they are still trying to render 30, 60, or 90 FPS so that's why you can't fire a million rays into the scene for every frame. I was blown away at GDC this year to see how far 1-2 samples + denoiser gets you though! We are getting super close to real-time GI and it's probably safe to assume we will have it at the consumer level in the next decade.
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  2 Weeks Ago

Reading various message boards, I see this kind of conspiracy theories surface regularly to the point where this non-sense is becoming quite annoying. Please take the following into consideration:

1. the gaming industry is not stagnating, it's booming (estimated to grow 40% by 2020)

2. gaming graphics (and animation/VFX) today are mostly artist-limited, not tech limited : it's a business, and production costs are directly correlated to the labor required to produce assets. Tools & productivity have been stagnating for a decade, production is now nearly fully outsourced / commoditized. AI might turn the tables, but it's still early.

3. gaming products are targeted at min-spec : many PC games are outsourced ports of AAA console franchises, with assets tuned to the Xbone / PS4 GPUs (a decade old now). This is not a conspiracy, it's maximizing profits by addressing the largest user-base possible. Like it or not, consoles is where the profits have been for a long time now.

4. VR is in trouble, mostly because there is a dearth of quality content, that's agreed. However it has nothing to do with the quality of graphics, and everything to do with its tiny market share that no one wants to make risky investments into. Add to the pile that current HMDs are really uncomfortable after 15mn use, they introduce a lot of complications to game engines, VR gameplay still hasn't solved the ambulation problem... Ray-tracing and/or better graphics will help but it won't solve any of these issues.

5. you need to read more carefully the press releases : no one is claiming path-traced GI environments in real time. DXR is a step in the direction of making ray-tracing a practical solution for several GI sub-problems, with a view on building up to something more general. As pointed out, advances in de-noising are a large part of what supports those claims. Some of us who have been around long enough probably remember ray-tracing chips as early as the late 90's (like ART) and why these companies went out of business, or the more recent Intel failure (Larrabee).

There are a lot of factors on both sides that will play into MS success or failure, most of which are currently proprietary information. There is no need to get agitated over grand conspiracies ; just sit tight and enjoy the ride...

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