Real-time reflections being done in 1998...no ray tracing needed

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
22,014
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So I'm replaying Unreal from 1998 and I decided to screenshot its' famous reflections:


I've arrowed the reflections from the book, fire, levitating Nali, and the lamp. They're real-time (not baked) which means if you fire non-hitscan weapons (e.g. rockets, energy weapons), their projectiles also reflect in real-time as they fly above the floor.

Also the white tiles are only very slightly reflective (screenshot angle doesn't show this), which means we already had variable reflective properties on surfaces back then.

So, very good approximated real-time reflections a quarter century ago being done on DX6 parts like the Voodoo 2.

Yet somehow nVidia thinks we're supposed to jack off to reflecting mud puddles in BF5 that cut your framerate in half while needing specialized hardware, as if this was some kind of amazing progress or something.
 

gdansk

Senior member
Feb 8, 2011
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Cube mapping and some screen space reflections?
But even raytracing has been done for decades. Nvidia's push is for making it faster, even if it still much slower than lightning hacks that look just as good.
 

GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
4,016
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Cube mapping and some screen space reflections?
But even raytracing has been done for decades. Nvidia's push is for making it faster, even if it still much slower than lightning hacks that look just as good.
- That's the real hill RT has to overcome. Devs have gotten so good at faking lighting that RT just doesn't have the wow factor that it would have if it was the first mainstream application of shadows, reflections, lighting.
 

postmortemIA

Diamond Member
Jul 11, 2006
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- That's the real hill RT has to overcome. Devs have gotten so good at faking lighting that RT just doesn't have the wow factor that it would have if it was the first mainstream application of shadows, reflections, lighting.
I had huge wow factor firing up RT enabled cyberpunk 2077, now the catch is exactly as you said - you don't know how much of wow is RT.
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
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Planar mirror reflections are pretty easy to achieve with duplicated geometry and the right transform matrices. Reflections on curved surfaces, on the other hand...
 

Mopetar

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2011
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- That's the real hill RT has to overcome. Devs have gotten so good at faking lighting that RT just doesn't have the wow factor that it would have if it was the first mainstream application of shadows, reflections, lighting.
I think we'll settle into a middle ground where the RT hardware is used to help make more convincing fakes. Even a little bit of extra data could go a long way towards creating a much more realistic looking fake.

Otherwise I think we're still 2 or 3 generations away from the point where RT will be good enough so that it doesn't compromise performance. Of course by then 8K may be more widespread and we're back to square one. That or 240 FPS has become some minimum standard so the 120 FPS with RT still isn't good enough.
 

soresu

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Dec 19, 2014
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Otherwise I think we're still 2 or 3 generations away from the point where RT will be good enough so that it doesn't compromise performance. Of course by then 8K may be more widespread and we're back to square one. That or 240 FPS has become some minimum standard so the 120 FPS with RT still isn't good enough.
Pursuing 8K is a fools errand in anything but large cinema screen and VR HMD use cases.

Even then VR offers great opportunities to increase performance through eye tracked foveated rendering techniques including aggressive variable rate shading and perhaps some foveated performance refinement of Unreal Engine's Lumen and Nanite systems.
 

moonbogg

Lifer
Jan 8, 2011
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They should release a GTX line alongside the RTX line with the same raster power but half the price or less. That's why the 2080Ti was $1200 right? RIGHT?! OK, so give me a GTX 4080 for $600 while others buy the RTX 4080 for $1600 even though every game will look exactly the same. It's not like I'm pausing a game to hyper-analyze a pixelated reflection bending around a doorknob.
 
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CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
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I had huge wow factor firing up RT enabled cyberpunk 2077, now the catch is exactly as you said - you don't know how much of wow is RT.
I found RT to be not worth it in this game. It's only noticeable in a few areas, and the higher resolution you get without it (at the same fps) is more noticeable with the long viewing distances outside. It's good in some other games like Control or Metro Exodus.
 
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Spjut

Senior member
Apr 9, 2011
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Unless they make a breakthrough in RT performance on the RDNA2-powered consoles, I don't expect much from RT in AAA games this generation except from the Nvidia-sponsored titles.

I have seen some devs comment about how important RT can be for indie devs or small studios though, for which RT becomes a cheap solution to get good lighting in their games.
 
Mar 11, 2004
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nowadays RT is bit more complex than square shapes, a thousand polygons and screen space reflection. maybe you should look at what Nvidia presented last month:
That doesn't impress me at all. I'm sure its complex for RT but, and this has been my argument the entire time, there's nothing there that is worth the performance penalty. My mind still easily sees its CGI, so its not doing anything to remove the suspension of disbelief, and faking it would be much more efficient, plus it would've likely meant they worked to punch it up in other ways that make it more appealing to me.

I'm glad they're doing the research. I do not care or even want them to be applying that in games as they are as, from what I've seen thus far it is not at all worth it and is exacerbating other issues happening in the industry. Ray tracing should have been delegated to cloud rendering where they could put more resources toward it and tailor it even further. By the time ray-tracing is good enough we'll likely also have good enough internet to stream at high enough resolutions and framerates for it to shine. That is where its going to matter and I still think it was a mistake for them to push it in consumer space and at the time they started doing it.

Unless they make a breakthrough in RT performance on the RDNA2-powered consoles, I don't expect much from RT in AAA games this generation except from the Nvidia-sponsored titles.

I have seen some devs comment about how important RT can be for indie devs or small studios though, for which RT becomes a cheap solution to get good lighting in their games.
I don't get that argument at all when they're using game engines that already bake in a ton of lighting options. One of the main, if not the main, reasons why indie games changed the gaming industry is that many of them are doing much more interesting things visually because they're usually focused on the art direction over realistic graphics.

Straight up, I personally do not want supposed hyper realistic lighting in games. I don't want HDR blooms and other stuff just because its realistic. Same reason lens flares in JJ Abrams movies look just dumb, although ironically they're being deliberately done to try and give some unique visual style but there its just stupid because it doesn't make sense.

Heck, makes me wonder if one of those artists that can do those super realistic drawings using ink couldn't make an indie game that looks ray-traced but is just hand drawn visuals and show up the rest of the industry.
 

eek2121

Golden Member
Aug 2, 2005
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Pursuing 8K is a fools errand in anything but large cinema screen and VR HMD use cases.

Even then VR offers great opportunities to increase performance through eye tracked foveated rendering techniques including aggressive variable rate shading and perhaps some foveated performance refinement of Unreal Engine's Lumen and Nanite systems.
Hard disagree. “8k” isn’t just about 8k, it is about higher refresh rates at 4k and above. One example would be pushing ultrawides to 4k resolution. A samsung G9 runs at up to 240hz at a resolution of 5120x1440. A hypothetical 4k version if this would be 7680x2160.
That doesn't impress me at all. I'm sure its complex for RT but, and this has been my argument the entire time, there's nothing there that is worth the performance penalty. My mind still easily sees its CGI, so its not doing anything to remove the suspension of disbelief, and faking it would be much more efficient, plus it would've likely meant they worked to punch it up in other ways that make it more appealing to me.

I'm glad they're doing the research. I do not care or even want them to be applying that in games as they are as, from what I've seen thus far it is not at all worth it and is exacerbating other issues happening in the industry. Ray tracing should have been delegated to cloud rendering where they could put more resources toward it and tailor it even further. By the time ray-tracing is good enough we'll likely also have good enough internet to stream at high enough resolutions and framerates for it to shine. That is where its going to matter and I still think it was a mistake for them to push it in consumer space and at the time they started doing it.



I don't get that argument at all when they're using game engines that already bake in a ton of lighting options. One of the main, if not the main, reasons why indie games changed the gaming industry is that many of them are doing much more interesting things visually because they're usually focused on the art direction over realistic graphics.

Straight up, I personally do not want supposed hyper realistic lighting in games. I don't want HDR blooms and other stuff just because its realistic. Same reason lens flares in JJ Abrams movies look just dumb, although ironically they're being deliberately done to try and give some unique visual style but there its just stupid because it doesn't make sense.

Heck, makes me wonder if one of those artists that can do those super realistic drawings using ink couldn't make an indie game that looks ray-traced but is just hand drawn visuals and show up the rest of the industry.
You are assuming next-gen will take a performance hit. That may not be the case. Regardless, native RT will likely eventually replace the hybrid system we have now.
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
22,014
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nowadays RT is bit more complex than square shapes, a thousand polygons and screen space reflection. maybe you should look at what Nvidia presented last month:
Square shapes? Serious Sam had a floating rotating warped metallic object that did environmental reflections.


Again, an extremely good approximation considering it was back in 2001 on DX7 feature hardware.
 

Tup3x

Senior member
Dec 31, 2016
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There's nothing special in mirroring a room to fake reflections - that trick has been used since ancient times (relatively speaking...). That "floating rotating warped metallic object that did environmental reflections" definitely did not accurate environmental reflections. Just a basic cube map.
 
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A///

Golden Member
Feb 24, 2017
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I've played a few modern RT titles. It's nice but if I'm being honest with you I really am not taking the time to appreciate those details at all, especially in an FPS title where I'm moving around constantly and focusing on not getting lit up.
 

Panino Manino

Senior member
Jan 28, 2017
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Square shapes? Serious Sam had a floating rotating warped metallic object that did environmental reflections.


Again, an extremely good approximation considering it was back in 2001 on DX7 feature hardware.
Best thing about the original Serious was not only how it looked a masterpiece in graphics technology, I remember it was ran wonderfully!
 

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