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The performance of NVIDIA RTX is overcast but there is no universal game.

via:CnBeta     time:2018/10/13 18:54:13     readed:479

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Whether from a technical point of view, or in some demonstrations, ray-tracing does bring about a qualitative improvement in the game picture, the game picture to a certain extent, the fidelity of the film, it seems that it is no longer a distant dream.

If you know something about the graphics technology, you should know that the quality of the game has not improved substantially for a long time.

PS3/XboxNormal mapping, ambient light shading, dynamic lighting, volume light, etc., which began to appear in the 360 era, are still the magic weapon to improve the quality of the game today.

Today, game modeling is becoming more and more sophisticated, texture is becoming more and more high-definition, but the aesthetic and film effects have always been a natural difference. The emergence of the RTX graphics card has made it possible for the game screen to evolve again.

So the question is, since video cards have begun to support ray-tracing acceleration, when will the next generation of game graphics enter millions of homes? Can the game using ray tracing technology be popularized next year? Let's talk about the topic today.

The game screen has been stalled for many years?

Before we talk about the popularity of ray-tracing, let's take a look at current game-related graphics techniques and explain why ray-tracing can bring essential improvements to game graphics.

The current game allows 3D graphics to appear in front of the player, and the technology used is "rasterization". Grating is a relatively abstract concept, you can simply understand the 3D graphics of the 2D, flat 3D model, it becomes 2D - we see the screen on the display is 2D.

Game 3D modeling (vector graphics), the model projected to the screen's 2D pixels (rasterization), 3D vector graphics into a 2D bitmap, this is what you see on the display screen.

In this process, the vector graphics become raster bitmaps, and the bitmap size is measured by the number of pixels.Therefore, the higher the resolution, the more complex the processing, such as anti aliasing, is the higher the demand for ROPs. Therefore, we can observe that the ROPs less graphics cards, in high resolution and high power anti-aliasing game, performance is not satisfactory.

In order to make the game realistic, in addition to accurate modeling, but also need to be accurate shade / color, or the screen is just a silhouette of white flowers, no one can see what it is.

The coloring of the game screen is done in the process of Raster Operations, that is, raster operation.

In the rasterization process, additional information, such as depth, color, and so on, is allocated to the pixels of the 2D image. Then the graphics card renders and colors the pixels according to this information. Finally, we can see the stereoscopic image.

__A simple rendering process diagram: determine the 3D vertex 3D modeling rasterization pixel coloring 2D image

In other words, the rasterized rendering of the game picture is roughly equivalent to drawing a 2D draft (shape) based on 3D modeling, and then filling it with various information.

Based on this principle, it is difficult to make a very real light and shadow effect. At present, we see in the game of light and shadow effects, often using Lightmap to simulate.

Take a simple process, for example, where the depth information of a pixel tells the computer whether it can be illuminated by light, and the computer decides to paste a black/white semi-transparent shadow map on the pixel to simulate a shadow/bright surface, thus creating a simple light/shadow effect.

In many cases, the lighting maps in the game are pre-baked, meaning that the light and shadow are not calculated in real time.Although many games have systems like lights, fires, and even weather, and light and shadows change, it's still just pre-rendered light maps, just different maps based on different situations.

For example, in recent years popular ambient light masking, the actual use is often directional light mapping; and volume light, can be simply seen as a translucent blurred patch; and the surface of the object caused by uneven highlights and shadows, in fact, is a normal mapping simulation.

These means can enhance the quality of the picture, but in principle, it is only fancy textures. Based on this, the game quality has not been a qualitative breakthrough for a long time.

Can ray tracing bring qualitative improvement to game quality?

Using the map to simulate light and shadow, this makes the image and shadow effect of the game screen very limited. For example, we know that when you look at an object from different angles, its light and shadow are likely to be different. A typical example is mirror / water reflection.

But because the game's light and shadow aren't instantly calculated, it's hard to make a perfect simulation - presumably you haven't seen a mirror broken in the game, and glass fragments can still be used as mirrors; and now many games do have water reflections, but at some angles the reflections disappear, and that's what happens. Some cases are the truth.

For example, the current illumination map does not simulate the diffuse reflectance. If you have contact with painting, we should know that realistic painting not only need to consider the inherent color of objects, but also consider the light source color and environmental color, in fact, this is the treatment of diffuse reflection, dealing with the diffuse reflection of the painting is enough realistic and vivid.

But because the game's light and shadow effects are mapped, it is difficult to simulate the color changes caused by diffuse light reflection between objects very accurately. Although some pixel processing techniques can be used to simulate the color effect between pixels, the effect is still limited.

Over the past few years, game graphics have become more sophisticated, but people have always felt that game graphics and reality, still appear stiff, because textures have never been able to simulate a perfect variety of light reflections.

The simulation of the game screen, it is obvious that has encountered a bottleneck - now the game screen comparison of the "Island Crisis", qualitative improvement?

"Island Crisis" was born in 2007, with "Island Crisis" compared to its five years ago, that is, 2002 games, and then with the current game more than 10 years ago, "Island Crisis" can not be difficult to find that in the last decade of the game to improve the quality of the small, is far slower than before. Ray tracing technology is the way to break the bottleneck of image quality.

___2007 "Island Crisis" screen, the game now compared to this decade ago, the quality of the picture has not been a qualitative breakthrough

As the name implies, ray-tracing technology can track the generation, reflection, shading, disappearance of light, and then real-time generation of light and shadow.

This time, the light and shadow are not just mapped out, but really simulate a beam of light, in the scene can produce what color, light and shade.

The resulting light and shadow effects are certainly more credible than the pre-made light and shadow maps, after all, you can't prepare the corresponding mapping or mapping changes for countless lighting situations. In principle, ray tracing technology will undoubtedly bring a higher picture quality limit to games.

When the RTX series of graphics cards were released, the NV had shown off a ray-tracing demonstration, and the effect was obvious to all.

When RTX ray tracing is enabled, the doors can give a real-time reflection of the fire, and the water can be reflected at any time. When the ray tracing was turned off, the reflections of the fire on the water surface disappeared and everything became flat.

When will ray tracing games become popular?

Although the RTX ray-tracing demonstration was brilliant, many friends were not happy to see it - it was just a demonstration, and there were no games using ray-tracing technology on the market.

Looking at the big cake and approaching it, we knew that the cake was on the paper. RTX graphics cards have been officially released, and there's little hope of a lot of ray-tracing games coming out this year. So the question is, can games popularize ray tracing technology in the near future, such as next year?

Unfortunately, perhaps the situation is not so optimistic. Although PC has led the development of game graphics technology in the last decade or so, it is decided by the market that the game consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox should be used to let certain graphics technology enter millions of households.

PC games have always sold far less than mainframe games, and although PC games will use more advanced graphics technology than mainframe games, these advanced graphics technologies will still be out of the mainstream from a market perspective if they do not appear in mainframe games.

Worldwide, console games sell much more than PC games. For example, according to VGChartz, the PC version of Battlefield 4 sells only 1/10 of PS3/4 Xbox 360/One.

For most of the game vendors, the sale of games on the host platform is the only way to make money. In this scenario, the game console has become the performance benchmark for most games, directly affecting the graphics technology that the game of this era will adopt.

Why should game vendors use high-cost, premature graphics technology for less-selling PC platforms? This increases costs and risks.

If the game manufacturer is the first iron, that is, regardless of the host platform, and the PC platform stacking graphics technology, what will happen? "Isolated island crisis" can be seen as a warning.

"Island Crisis" in the early days is the exclusive PC platform, the use of a large number of advanced graphics technology, creating a stunning picture quality benchmark. By contrast, the game quality on PS3 and Xbox360 was almost antique.

However, the sales volume of such works is only about seven hundred thousand. So the subsequent "Isolated Island Crisis 2" still split into the game console platform, the total sales rose to about 3.4 million, four times more than the first generation.

However, in order to balance the mainframe, "Island Crisis 2" picture quality compared to the first generation has declined, which is the mainframe on the impact of game graphics technology.

In other words, most games, with the exception of big factories with capital to play tickets, won't be able to use this graphical technology in depth until the host can't support ray tracing.

It is worth mentioning that the current stage of the ray tracing game, in fact, is not the global use of ray tracing. Because of the limitation of performance, rasterization is still essential, and RTX graphics card can only provide mixed rendering.

In this way, the artists are quite critical. With the same graphics technology, different artists will have different grinding effects. For example, the ambient light is also used to mask the atmosphere of "Mysterious Sea Area 4" is one grade higher than the ordinary 3A.

Where can we use ray tracing to achieve the best results? For a new graphics technology that is applied to games, this is a topic worthy of further study.

These tasty ray tracing games, will not calm down to polish the artist, so that local ray tracing to play its due potential? If the manufacturer's attitude towards ray tracing is just a gimmick, I'm afraid the final product is not satisfactory.

In addition, althoughMicrosoftThe DXR API has been released and ray tracing is supported in DX12, but no hardware specifications have been developed.

Although the Xbox host also uses the DX API, the AMD graphics chip it uses does not support ray-tracing acceleration. If the host game uses ray-tracing acceleration at this stage, the efficiency is very poor.

At present, only NV RTX graphics cards can provide hardware-level ray-tracing acceleration, and it is well known that NV has little influence in the host market.

As a result, when the Ray Tracking game will become popular will probably depend on when AMD will follow up and introduce a Ray Tracking acceleration scheme that can be widely used on the host platform.


There is no doubt that ray tracing is a revolutionary graphic technology for games. But when a graphics technology becomes popular, not only hardware manufacturers themselves need to be developed, but also consider the historical process. I hope that the industry can quickly follow up the technology of ray tracing, and let the game quality go into the new era.

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