Technology empowers. It empowers us to do better, to think better, to grow and ultimately to become better versions of our own selves. Online gaming has become popular and the industry has been growing. With minimal development costs the video games have been quite profitable with many being developed individually or with a small team over a span of a month. At present the video game industry has a major impact on the economy with games crossing $600 USD million worth of sales in the first five days of launch. Today, the global video game market is valued at over $93 billion.
Rendering or image synthesis is the automatic process of generating a photorealistic or non-photorealistic image from a 2D or 3D model (or models in what collectively could be called a scene file) by means of computer programs. Also, the results of displaying such a model can be called a render. Many rendering algorithms have been researched, and software used for rendering may employ a number of different techniques to obtain a final image. Therefore, a few loose families of more-efficient light transport modelling techniques have emerged:
· Rasterization, including scanline rendering, geometrically projects objects in the scene to an image plane, without advanced optical effects;
· Ray casting considers the scene as observed from a specific point of view, calculating the observed image based only on geometry and very basic optical laws of reflection intensity, and perhaps using Monte Carlo techniques to reduce artifacts;
· Ray tracing is similar to ray casting, but employs more advanced optical simulation, and usually uses Monte Carlo techniques to obtain more realistic results at a speed that is often orders of magnitude faster.
With an industry so ever growing and ever evolving change is constant with new technologies coming in every new day. The latest technology which you can say has caused a tectonic shift in the world of video games is ‘Ray Tracing’. Ray Tracing is what ‘gamers’ would call ‘revolutionizing’, in the sense that it changes the way you see things in a video game, quite literally, it makes the virtual the world seem as real as the one we are living in as we go out there destroying our only world.
So what actually is Ray Tracing? In computer graphics, ray tracing is a rendering technique for generating an image by tracing the path of light as pixels in an image plane and simulating the effects of its encounters with virtual objects. The technique is capable of producing a very high degree of visual realism, quite higher than that of typical scanline rendering methods, but at a greater computational cost. This makes ray tracing best suited for applications where taking a relatively long time to render a frame can be tolerated, such as in still images and film and television visual effects, and more poorly suited for real-time applications such as video games where speed is critical. More easily, it is a life-like way of rendering shadows and lights in a scene. However, because ray tracing works by simulating and tracking every ray of light produced by a source of lighting, it kind of takes a lot of horsepower to actually render. The way light hits an object changes the colour and perception of the object’s surface in the real world, through Ray Tracing all this shall be possible even in the virtual world.
A few popular games which support Ray Tracing are Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Battlefield 5, Minecraft. Ray Tracing being a graphics technology can be accessed only through a ‘Graphics Card’ the only graphics card that allows for Ray Tracing to be actually possible is by Nvidia. Although this would be a total treat for the eye, the technology would severely affect the performance if the computer in the sense that all games are rendered frame-by-frame.
However, this technology would make games look more realistic thereby increasing the player base which increases earnings of the company and hence causes the ‘trickle-down’ economic effect. Movies based out of CGI- Computer Generated Imagery would see a reduction in the amount spent on the CGI as they can now easily create environmental models that are believable.
Although Ray Tracing makes it believable, it allows you to experience something extremely virtual which seems so appealing to the eyes it is almost real. Although the technology may not directly impact a large audience such as other great technologies it impacts those whose livelihood depends on gaming and virtual reality. But while this level of detail is incredibly impressive, it’s so subtle you probably wouldn’t notice it unless you went looking for it. When you factor in how much of a performance drain that ray tracing is on the GPU, you have to ask yourself whether that subtle improvement is worth it. So whether Ray Tracing is revolution is quite affirmative, what is unsure is the fact that whether it will benefit the users considering the high cost that will be involved to change hardware.
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Currently in her second year of Economics Honours from Shri Ram College of Commerce, she is a Punjab-Delhi express that demands to be recongnised. She is an enthusiastic soul looking for happiness in small things while trying to make it big in life. From books to humans she has opinions on all, a curious soul who never gets tired of learning.