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Smartphone games may get ray-tracing

Discussion in 'Games' started by Snow White, Nov 26, 2022.

  1. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    Smartphone ray tracing is here, but is it the real deal?

    This article is long. If I were to sum it up myself, I'd sum it up, after reading some of the article, as:

    "High-end smartphone games may soon be getting hardware accelerated ray-tracing support if they utilize new hardware supported ray-tracing smartphone SoCs/chips, and it may even be somewhat similar to the consoles and latest gaming PCs when it comes to ray-tracing effects. Don't expect miracles yet though, or for things to be equal to the PCs and consoles, yet."

    I'm even skeptical that the graphics on smartphone games are the main thing that need an upgrade, really - more like the depth, the scale of worlds, etc. I feel that some tablet and smartphone games are actually achieving good graphics, they're just lacking in other areas.
     
  2. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    uhhhh...what is 'ray tracing?':shrug:
     
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  3. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    Hardware-accelerated ray-tracing is the new gaming / game development trend ever since just focusing on things like fragment and vertex shaders got boring.

    If implemented correctly, ray-tracing is like a set of effects that can improve the graphics quality of games. But they take a lot of power, so it has the side effect of often reducing framerates.

    Ray tracing (graphics) - Wikipedia
     
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  4. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    An example of ray-tracing off and on in a game:

    1632215087-79542.jpg

    The picture on the right has hardware ray-tracing on.

    Sometimes it can be used for more realistic lighting, etc.
     
  5. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    I'd also add that ray-tracing seems to be a set of effects often seen in animated movies. With hardware support of ray-tracing, it then allows games to implement *some* of these effects, and all the while games being real-time - while each frame of a rendered movie isn't real-time, but may take minutes to render.
     
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  6. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    Also, to "hardware accelerate" something means to use special hardware for it, that is often faster due to being specially made for a specific task.

    As an example of such a thing happening in the past, think how CPUs used to have more control over graphics, but now, generally GPUs accelerate most things about graphics, and it tends to be faster to have that specialized hardware handling it.

    I haven't really focused much on ray-tracing on my personal projects, but if I recall, it's existed for many years, even in games. It wasn't until recently, with hardware acceleration and being able to do more as a result, that it's really gotten attention. I mean, people can better see the results now, for one.
     
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  7. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Veteran Member
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    Ray tracing is a graphics rendering technique where the path of light rays is traced—hence the name "ray tracing"—and then reflections are produced just as they would be in real life. Let's say a car's headlights emit light on a glass window. The rays are traced even when they hit other objects, produce shadows accordingly, and also produce reflections on the glass. This is in contrast to rasterization and "pre-baked" reflections, where the effects of light on other objects, such as on their color, contain inaccuracies and reflections are an incomplete approximation of the original image.

    For example, in the PC version of Spider-Man, you have the option to turn ray tracing on or off. If you turn it off, the reflections on glass panels are produced using rasterization and other traditional methods of graphics rendering. On the other hand, ray tracing automatically simulates the effects of light and produces those reflections, sparing animators and programmers the significant amount of work needed to fine-tune the very flawed lighting simulation at the cost of performance due to the heavy toll that ray tracing takes on hardware.

    This is an example of what reflections look like in Spider-Man with ray tracing turned off versus on:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, Spider-Man's reflection is there when ray tracing is on because the effects of light are simulated in real time, whereas the pre-baked reflection fails to take into account the moving object (in this case, Spider-Man's character model) and realistically reflect it on the glass.

    The fact that real-time ray tracing is now even possible in video games is a major milestone for graphics rendering. To put things into perspective, ray tracing used to be exclusive to CGI in movies and other pre-rendered graphics. It is heavy, and even though Nvidia and AMD have implemented dedicated hardware for it in their graphics cards in recent years (starting around 2018 with Nvidia's RTX 2000 lineup), it remains a very taxing feature when set to max quality in most games.

    Computers can now do in real time what used to require rendering farms many years ago. This is a jaw-dropping achievement, but it's also still improving with every generation of new graphics cards nowadays.
     
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  8. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Having seen and experienced ray-tracing, I'm honestly very indifferent to it. I have no interest in playing games on a phone that would need that sort of graphics, especially since the mobile market is dominated by scams that masquerade as games. If mobile games need any sort of upgrade, it's an upgrade to consumer protections laws that clean up that entire sector to prohibit predatory monetization schemes.
     
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