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So much for RTX: Crytek reveals real-time ray tracing demo for AMD and Nvidia hardware

By mongeese · 81 replies
Mar 16, 2019
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  1. The demo above called “Neon Noir” features two minutes of 4K 30 FPS ray tracing, all completed in real-time on a Radeon Vega 56. All reflections are ray traced, but much like Battlefield V, traditional rendering techniques are used in conjunction with ray tracing to optimize performance.

    Before anyone starts a riot that Nvidia has been charging a fortune for RTX hardware, there are some things to note. First, although it does seem to work, Crytek’s ray tracing is still in development and it will be a while longer before it's available. Second, demos always look substantially better than subsequent games, so it’s a bit premature to be judging the visual quality of the solution.

    Crytek's impressive showcase is a proof of concept that real-time ray tracing may not require specialized hardware. Then again Nvidia has said before that GeForce GTX cards can render ray traced scenes, but they are several times slower than RTX graphics cards. Turing RTX GPUs add dedicated pipelines to calculate rays and triangle intersections, thus making simulation of ray tracing feasible.

    Then the question is not so much about hardware support, but how Crytek has managed such smooth performance with hardware that wasn't built for the task.

    Crytek is the developer/creator behind the revolutionary Far Cry and Crysis game series (some sequels were developed by third parties, the originals were fully theirs), which is famous for breaking down barriers on what was thought to be possible in PC graphics. They also make CryEngine, a graphics-focused game engine used for Crysis, Far Cry, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, amongst other titles. It’s licensed on a “pay what you want" scheme to small developers, enabling to use the engine in their games for free, which will let a lot of Indies access ray tracing tools when the feature arrives.

    According to Crytek, their ray tracing implementation is part of a new Total Illumination toolkit which is an add-on to CryEngine 5.5 (current version). It doesn’t seem to require many changes to the rest of the engine and will be released as default in a future CryEngine version. Included in the toolkit are ray traced reflections, shadows, and global illumination. It doesn’t require any special APIs or hardware and will be optimized for Vulkan and DirectX 12.

    In all likelihood, it will be a long time before anyone can play around with Crytek’s ray tracing and unfortunately the tech demo shown in the video cannot be downloaded so we can try it on our own hardware, but we’re all waiting with bated breath.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 2,044   +1,560

    rTx iS tHe fUtUrE
  3. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,536   +1,343

    I mean, Do they have a download for the demo we can run ourselves? Something I like about Nvidia demo's and Epics Unreal Engine demo's are that you can download them and run them on your own hardware.

    Would be kinda cool to download this and see how well it runs on Hardware that's faster than the Vega 56.

    Also, I wonder if they could accelerate Ray-Tracing using Nvidia's dedicated hardware instead? When an RTX card is detected, move Ray-Tracing pipeline to etc...

    Kinda cool if they really have pulled this off though! I'd buy the original Crysis again if they updated it with Ray-Tracing and into a newer CryEngine that uses more than two threads.
    Charles Olson and VeeTeeF like this.
  4. mcborge

    mcborge TS Guru Posts: 585   +473

    This is hilarious, even more so if the tech becomes mainstream. Looks like Nvidia's goldon RTX goose suddenly isn't worth so much.
  5. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,213   +2,482

    My bet: Conformal Geometric Algebra. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conformal_geometric_algebra

    Which, simply put, is a way of representing objects in 3D space by using five dimensions.

    Though this is a particular form of Geometric Algebra, it is said in various references that GA is substantially faster for computing than linear algebra for computations in up to nine dimensions.

    nWidia is trying to spin their hardware as magical to justify its obscene price. You don't need special cores for this.
  6. godrilla

    godrilla TS Enthusiast Posts: 92   +48

    A $300 gpu can do this today color me impressed. It took Dice and Nvidia months after launch to get a playable framerate in BFV on a $1200 gpu. Rtx is the modern day gameworks/Physx. Nvidia found a way to gimp us again. Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me.
    TempleOrion, wizardB, Max93 and 4 others like this.
  7. Philipjanka

    Philipjanka TS Rookie

    This is just realtime rendering of a video. Not in game graphics. It's cool. For video.
    Rock Dirty likes this.
  8. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,536   +1,343

    Any evidence to back this up? They seemed pretty direct at the end of the demo that it was all done on a Vega56.

    You're aware of the differences between rendering a video and rendering 3D Graphics right?
  9. godrilla

    godrilla TS Enthusiast Posts: 92   +48

    Crytek clearly said the demo was rendered on a Vega 56 so there is that.
  10. urbanman2004

    urbanman2004 TS Booster Posts: 119   +36

    NVIDIA's got some explaining to do
  11. godrilla

    godrilla TS Enthusiast Posts: 92   +48

    I just posted a coment on crytek forums requesting the demo will keep you guys posted.
  12. OyVey1234

    OyVey1234 TS Rookie

    Mainstream with only 1 engine using it ? Legit.
  13. mcborge

    mcborge TS Guru Posts: 585   +473

    Whats to stop them licencing it?
  14. godrilla

    godrilla TS Enthusiast Posts: 92   +48

    While that is accurate this may prove that next gen consoles can raytrace at very low level API if true. Next gen consoles should be more powerful than a vega 56 more like a Navi which is rumored to be almost equal to a gtx 1080 level of performance.
    mcborge likes this.
  15. Stefem

    Stefem TS Rookie

    Sometimes who writes news don't put the time or lack the knowledge required to fully understand, or simply deliberately write in a way to generate debate as that draws viewer(money).

    It's known that some developer are working to use raytracing on last gen hardware and console, although I didn't know about CryTek there are other's that publicly talked about their project, and by publicly I mean on social network not some dev conference no one know of... the point is that the new harware will be much faster than what was available before, that's what CryTek says on the page linked in the article:
    "... the experimental ray tracing feature based on CRYENGINE’s Total Illumination used to create the demo is both API and hardware agnostic, enabling ray tracing to run on most mainstream, contemporary AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. However, the future integration of this new CRYENGINE technology will be optimized to benefit from performance enhancements delivered by the latest generation of graphics cards and supported APIs like Vulkan and DX12. "
  16. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,177   +3,785

    You see that little Cryengine badge at the bottom left corner of the video? That's right, it's a game engine. This is Crytek advertising their new voxel based ray tracing feature. A feature that anyone using the engine can take advantage of.

    Pretty impressive to be running on a Vega 56.
  17. pinscher

    pinscher TS Rookie

    Nvidia made RT specific hardware because cuda doesn't cut it.

    There is a reason why GCN uses more power than cuda.
    Charles Olson and Dimitrios like this.
  18. NahNood

    NahNood TS Addict Posts: 124   +65

    And here we thought crytek had no future! lol
    TempleOrion, godrilla and Dimitrios like this.
  19. OrlandoC

    OrlandoC TS Rookie

    You guys are little quick to confirm that the GI is actually as good. We have no way of knowing if this is actually calculating path tracing in real time, or if it’s baked. The reflections look good but that’s only have the goal. It doesn’t look like true GI to me.
  20. Dimitrios

    Dimitrios TS Guru Posts: 528   +393

    With the news reports of Nvidia & Intel in the last 1-2 years, AMD keeps on looking better lol.
    TempleOrion and Charles Olson like this.
  21. Dimitrios

    Dimitrios TS Guru Posts: 528   +393

    You know what this means...................................... NVIDIA's CEO is gonna have to hangup his leather jacket and reflect on himself. He needs to give Lisa Su his leather jacket.

    I wish I copyrighted the "JACKET JOKE" ha ha. I started this 2 years ago with Nvidia Ceo because as a landscape owner I joke around with my workers and friends by using funny names. First was a worker that only weared white Tshirts. We called him "T-shirts." Then there was a worker that would wear a jacket even during warm weather, his name was " Jackets." My best nickname I used at my night job was "Forest Whitaker." Yes we had a dude that was around 25 years old and he talked and looked like that actor with the weird eyelid that was always half way closed lol.
  22. dj2017

    dj2017 TS Maniac Posts: 160   +167

    It would be interesting if RTX cores in their current form are nothing special for raytracing. The same happened with PhysX, where physics effects, that where possible 15 years ago with dual core systems @ <2GHz speeds, with DX9 cards, where advertised as something new and never seen before from Nvidia. What was really happening was that, PhysX was so slow on CPUs, that was creating a fake image about how much efficient PhysX was on Nvidia GPUs.

    In any case, ANY solution that is free and usable with ANY card from ANY manufacturer is welcomed.
  23. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,177   +3,785

    It says real time ray tracing right in the preview image of the video /facepalm

    They are using Voxels, which is significantly more efficient and can be done using traditional compute.
  24. Philipjanka

    Philipjanka TS Rookie

    That's what I said.
    Charles Olson and godrilla like this.
  25. Jmax001

    Jmax001 TS Rookie

    Nvidia loves proprietary technology. Sure their cores are optimized for ray tracing, but it's all just numbers. GPUs are pretty darn good at computing numbers.

    CPUs have been used for a long time to render CGI ray traces scenes. I've done some work with 3DS Max 2011, GPUs were starting to be utilized for rendering, but the results weren't as good. The engines needed more work back then.

    It's no surprise to me that Crytek is able to pull this off. RTX isn't a gimmick, but a way of Nvidia trying to control the future of graphics, and Crytek said, no thank you Nvidia, we don't want your proprietary tools here!

    This is why open platforms are always better. And AMD has been giving open tech for quite a while now, with Vulkan API, and Freesync just to name a couple.

    I'm glad to see that AMD won't be in a cold freeze when it comes to ray tracing in the future. As a gaming enthusiast myself, competition is good and hopefully AMD can compete with Navi to slow down the ridiculous price train that Nvidia has become.

    Got a bit off subject, but it all ties into the future of what gaming will look like and Nvidia wants to control it as much as possible. Crytek just showed them they won't have the monopoly on ray tracing and it makes buying a GPU for now and the future still open, without fear of missing out on the latest graphics achievements in the gaming Industry, no matter which company you prefer to buy GPUs from.

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