What’s This Ray Tracing Stuff?In case the term Ray Tracing is news to you, here’s a quick explanation. Ray tracing is the premier technique for rendering photorealistic graphics. It’s used to make CG effects and films. Its very rough on computing power and can’t be done in real time, which is what a video game would need. In traditional game graphics the way light behaves is faked using many tricks and shortcuts developed over the years. Modern traditional game graphics looks superb, but it’s still a long way from being photorealistic.
Ray tracing does not take shortcuts. It simulates the path of light rays bouncing through a scene, providing a final result thats pretty much photoreal.
Why is Ray Tracing so Important for VR?It has to be seen to be believed, but RT graphics represent a huge jump in realism. It turns simpler titles like Minecraft and Quake 2 into something that looks like the real world, but as a sort of diorama. It gives the brain what it expects to see in the real world and removes a significant layer that prevents the VR illusion from being complete.
Its not just about the fun and games. Other than providing action-packed, fun-filled entertainment for the entire family, VR plays a big role to help humanity as developers use it to help those in need in ways that were unimaginable 20 years ago. Some use it to cure phantom pain among amputee victims, while others rely on VR to provide therapy for soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. VR has also been proven to help children with autism by teaching them social cues and real world lessons. It is being used as a practice board for surgical students before they make the first cut. There is even a VR content targeted at young adults that simulates their physical condition when they get to their 60s, and thus encourages them to save for the future.
Seriously, just look at thus Minecraft RTX demo.
If your jaw doesn’t drop to the floor, check your pulse.
Why We Can’t Have Ray Tracing in VR Just Yet?
The short answer is simply poor performance.