Ray traced gaming, are we there yet?

University essay from Mälardalens högskola/Akademin för innovation, design och teknik

Author: Yvonne Schudeck; [2016]

Keywords: Computer graphics; ray tracing;


Advances in hardware acceleration has resulted in development of a variety of hardware accelerated ray tracing libraries. The purpose of this bachelor thesis is to investigate if a simple ray tracer, based on a hardware accelerated ray tracing library, can achieve acceptable frame rates in rendering simple 3D game-related environments. Games are often associated with fast rasterization-based rendering techniques, but rasterization is limited where instead ray tracing holds many advantages.

Background research was done to gain knowledge about related work, state-of-the-art in ray tracing and available hardware accelerated libraries. By using a method similar to Kanban and Scrum [36], the implementation was split up into different tasks, prioritizing the tasks of implementing basic functionalities of a ray tracer. A simple ray tracer was implemented based on the chosen library Embree, a framework developed at Intel Corporation.

Results show that the scenes rendered in lower resolutions (800 x 600) are good candidates for having a stable frame rate of 30 FPS, which is not enough in order to render a real game. The standard of games today require high resolution (full HD 1920 x 1080) and complex scenes. Earlier studies show that Embree has potential of higher performance and looking back the performance of real-time ray tracing has improved, but is still limited to low resolutions and simple lighting and shading models.

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