Caustic Promises 200x Boost in Raytracing by 2010

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megabuster

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20x 200x in reference to what? CPU only raytracing? If yes which CPU specifically? If CPU + GPU what are the chips used? Will 200x = 60fps@1920x1080? Please give details that matter.
 

mapesdhs

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I've never understood why people even use the term 'realtime'
for raytracing. If a particular hw solution achieves a framerate
X for a given scene, then double the complexity of that scene
and bam, the framerate collapses. Scenes that benefit from
raytracing are all too often of a nature that can make the scene
complexity much worse very easily, eg. extra reflection levels and
transparency, or add another sphere or two. See my SGI Alias benchmark
for an example of such a scene.

Increase the resolution, or demand a greater level of reflections,
or whatever other parameter, and whatever was 'realtime' before
is reduced to a crawl. My C-Ray benchmark is another good example (check the sphfract model). The only way
to bring the framerate back up to interactive levels is to add
more hardware, which is how SGI did it, eg. the Boeing 777
interactive Manta system: 350 million polygons in the model
(that's 2 orders of magnitude more complex than a typical PC
game today), 'real-time' ray-traced/rendered with a 128-CPU SGI
Prism (112 x Itanium2s used for the raytracing), working on a
66GB dataset (the system has 256GB RAM).

Also, raytracing is good at rendering certain types of surfaces
and scenes, but not others. Remember the overall look of the
original PS2 Mercenaries game? Raytracing would be bad for that
sort of thing. As I understand it, raycasting is a better method
(if I recall the name correctly), offering a more general approach.

Atm though, I don't see how they can resolve the all-too-easy
potential for exponentially more complex processing that
raytracing involves without just adding more hardware. The
raster method offers so many ways of controlling the gfx loading,
including methods that have not yet been added to consumer cards
such as Dynamic Video Resizing (used in SGI's IR hw).

Modelling the world with polygons is fast for good reasons. I would
be more impressed with the development of an entirely new API
and hw for modelling natively volumetric things without using
polygons (thus ditching all the tradeoffs using polygons involves),
such as fire, smoke, fog, water, flames, mud, lava, sand, etc.
As mentioned above, SGI did this with IR4 gfx and the *Ray sw
from the Univ. of Utah (demos showed effects being done at a
performance level equivalent to more than a thousand GF cards of
the day), but it went nowhere after that AFAIK. Here's another reference
with more details, and the original Utah press release page with
some example images from the real-time demos. For the lazy, here
are direct links to the screenshots:

http://www.sci.utah.edu/stories/2002/images/star-ray_livingroom.jpg
http://www.sci.utah.edu/stories/2002/images/star-ray_museum.jpg
http://www.sci.utah.edu/stories/2002/images/star-ray_science.jpg
http://www.sci.utah.edu/stories/2002/images/star-ray_galaxy.jpg
http://www.sci.utah.edu/stories/2002/images/star-ray_atlantis.jpg

and remember this was all done in 2002. The *Ray software was
shown to scale linearly, even on an Origin system with 1024 CPUs.

If they can come up with a decent product that has some sensible
useful lifespan, great, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Now if we had quantum computing all sorted, that would be a
whole different ballgame...

Ian.

 

reichscythe

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Why is it that every bloody raytracing game/demo known to man HAS to have the free-floating bunch of 'quick-silvery reflective balls'? Is it an obligatory clause in the Raytracing Demo Production Coalition's charter or something? [http://www.idfun.de/temp/q4rt/screenshots/reflect02.jpg] And why is everything always coated in liquid metal? [http://www.theinquirer.net/img/7853/q4rt.jpg] YAAAY, **applause** raytracing provides MARVELOUS LOOKING REFLECTIONS!! Which we've known that since the 1991, when every BBS sys-op was shovelin' out jpegs of ray-traced trains--showing what the future of graphics was gonna look like... Tenor77's absolutely right: you people are dreamin' if you think the nextgen systems are going to be generating full-on, real-time rendered, fully raytraced games at decent framerates with graphics that look anywhere near as good as the current gen's rasterized offerings.

And why in god's name does everyone keeps posting that bloody 2 year old video of THREE ps3s generating ONE--a car, I might add, that looks about a quarter-step up in quality from a Need For Speed: Most Wanted vehicle--with background scenery about as detailed and textured as a throwback Jaguar 64 game, like it's some smokin'-gun, slam-dunk, WMDs-in-the-sand evidence that we're going to be seeing actual decent looking fully playable raytraced console games in 2 years?? Really??? Especially when the state of the economy pretty much indicates the PS4 is likely gonna be an 8th-thread-unlocked, die-shrunk PS3 Cell with a hair more system ram and a 'more advanced' graphics solution (and knowing nVidia, assuming they're allowed to stick around, said solution will be based solidly on the G92)...

Y'know... I love the beauty of quality raytracing and I honestly hope I'm proven wrong... but I seriously doubt I will be...
 

KyleSTL

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When was the last time Apple manufactured a Processing Unit? Yes, I do believe they design boards, and layout of components and cases, etc. But to my knowledge they have never produced a GPU, CPU, PPU, or anything of the sort. They've used ATI, Intel, Nvidia, IBM, etc chips and manufactured boards to support them. You really think Apple engineers have even tried a silicon die for processing?
 

ntrceptr

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Why in the world would they approach ray tracing the way the did. Just convert the raytracing rendering engine to run via CUDA. Problem solved...real time raytracing. Send me the source code for it and I'll do it. Their is no need for a special card to offload anything. Their is no need for Open GL api's either.

On a different note, Worlds rendered with ray tracing will take very little storage space. You can have an entire world with textures and details described in a file that could probably fit on a floppy disc still. The only large part (in my experience) for ray tracing is if you have textures mapped....all the procedure textures and geometry take very little space to describe.

This may have already been said I didn't read all the comments...dont have time right now.

 

Tindytim

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vAnd why in god's name does everyone keeps posting that bloody 2 year old video of THREE ps3s generating ONE--a car, I might add, that looks about a quarter-step up in quality from a Need For Speed: Most Wanted vehicle--with background scenery about as detailed and textured as a throwback Jaguar 64 game, like it's some smokin'-gun, slam-dunk, WMDs-in-the-sand evidence that we're going to be seeing actual decent looking fully playable raytraced console games in 2 years?? Really???[/citation]
Well, for some retarded reason, they added 75 times as many as necessary, and decided to have 4x multisampling. Most game worlds would be around that number of polygons.

[citation][nom]reichscythe[/nom]I love the beauty of quality raytracing and I honestly hope I'm proven wrong... but I seriously doubt I will be...[/citation]
I bet we'll see games with raytracing in the near future. But I have feelings quite the opposite of yours.

I'm sure we'll see raytracing in the near future, and use all of the increased processing power to increase graphical quality, rather than working on using it for improving gameplay, or creating interested gameplay elements. We'll see oodles of FPSes with raytracing all trying to trump each other.
 

dconnors

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[citation][nom]KyleSTL[/nom]"Apple Engineers"Would you buy a Dell-design GPU? Or a Microsoft-developed CPU?As far as computer hardware is concerned Apple engineering seems like kind of a joke.[/citation]

To be fair, one of the former Apple engineers behind Caustic was also behind the graphics power for the iPhone.
 

sacre

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Got to be honest, i'm not all that impressed by ray-tracing, the examples i've seen are made specifically to show it off with high poly'd models, etc. All the effects shown by ray tracing can already be mimic'd with the conventional, Crysis for example looks great. With all these examples, of course it'll look better because the model is extremely high in quality.

I'd like to see a modern game made from ray tracing so then we can compare it to the conventional..
 

Tindytim

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[citation][nom]sacre[/nom]Got to be honest, i'm not all that impressed by ray-tracing, the examples i've seen are made specifically to show it off with high poly'd models, etc. All the effects shown by ray tracing can already be mimic'd with the conventional, Crysis for example looks great. With all these examples, of course it'll look better because the model is extremely high in quality. I'd like to see a modern game made from ray tracing so then we can compare it to the conventional..[/citation]
I already posted this link, but I'll post it again:
http://www.tgdaily.com/html_tmp/content-view-37925-113.html
 

djayjp

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[citation][nom]ntrceptr[/nom]Why in the world would they approach ray tracing the way the did. Just convert the raytracing rendering engine to run via CUDA. Problem solved...real time raytracing. Send me the source code for it and I'll do it. Their is no need for a special card to offload anything. Their is no need for Open GL api's either. On a different note, Worlds rendered with ray tracing will take very little storage space. You can have an entire world with textures and details described in a file that could probably fit on a floppy disc still. The only large part (in my experience) for ray tracing is if you have textures mapped....all the procedure textures and geometry take very little space to describe. This may have already been said I didn't read all the comments...dont have time right now.[/citation]

You're wrong... if you want to see real-time ray-tracing in action using quad sli, be prepared to be severely let down:

http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,658077/Nvision-2008-Real-time-HD-Ray-tracing/News/

oh, and the boeing 777 model with 350 million polys had a dataset of 14GB btw... ;)
 

mapesdhs

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djayip,

Yes, the raw input data was 14GB (13000 .obj files), preprocessed
to produce a secondary 21GB dataset to aid in the rendering
process. But once running on the system, the interactive model
used 66GB RAM. The Manta system doesn't operate on the raw data.

The Boeing model is small though on the scale of things. More
than 10 years ago when I was doing Lockheed-funded ocean ROV
research, a guy at Shell told me their full oilrig model had
1.5 trillion polygons. Industrial models are crazy huge. Makes
consumer game stuff look lame.

Other posters have a point though; traditional Z-based raster
methods are not going to stand still. Who knows what NVIDIA/AMD
will come up with in the next few years?

Ian.

 
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