Exploring the Use of Ray Tracing for Future Games

Heiko Friedrich, Johannes Günther, Andreas Dietrich, Michael Scherbaum, Hans-Peter Seidel, and Philipp Slusallek

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Ras­ter­i­za­tion hard­ware and com­puter games have al­ways been tightly con­nected: The hard­ware im­ple­men­ta­tion of ras­ter­i­za­tion has made com­plex in­ter­ac­tive 3D games pos­si­ble while re­quire­ments for fu­ture games drive the de­vel­op­ment of in­creas­ingly par­al­lel GPUs and CPUs. In­ter­est­ingly, this de­vel­op­ment – to­gether with im­por­tant al­go­rith­mic im­prove­ments – also en­abled ray trac­ing to achieve re­al­time per­for­mance re­cently.

In this pa­per we ex­plore the op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fered by ray trac­ing based game tech­nol­ogy in the con­text of cur­rent and ex­pected fu­ture per­for­mance lev­els. In par­tic­u­lar, we are in­ter­ested in simulation-based graph­ics that avoids pre-computations and thus en­ables the in­ter­ac­tive pro­duc­tion of ad­vanced vi­sual ef­fects and in­creased re­al­ism nec­es­sary for fu­ture games. In this con­text we an­a­lyze the ad­van­tages of ray trac­ing and demon­strate first re­sults from sev­eral ray trac­ing based game projects. We also dis­cuss ray trac­ing API is­sues and present re­cent de­vel­op­ments that sup­port in­ter­ac­tions and dy­namic scene con­tent. We end with an out­look on the dif­fer­ent op­tions for hard­ware ac­cel­er­a­tion of ray trac­ing.


SIGGRAPH Video Game Symposium 2006
10 pages
11256 kb

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