Crytek has released a new video demonstrating the results of a CRYENGINE research and development project. Neon Noir shows how real-time mesh ray-traced reflections and refractions can deliver highly realistic visuals for games. The Neon Noir demo was created with the new advanced version of CRYENGINE’s Total Illumination showcasing real time ray tracing. This feature will be added to CRYENGINE release roadmap in 2019, enabling developers around the world to build more immersive scenes, more easily, with a production-ready version of the feature.
Neon Noir was developed on a bespoke version of CRYENGINE 5.5., and 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.
Ray tracing is a rendering technique that simulates complex lighting behaviors. Realism is achieved by simulating the propagation of discreet fractions of energy and their interaction with surfaces. With contemporary GPUs, ray tracing has become more widely adopted by real-time applications like video games, in combination with traditionally less resource hungry rendering techniques like cube maps; utilized where applicable.
The experimental ray tracing tool feature simplifies and automates the rendering and content creation process to ensure that animated objects and changes in lighting are correctly reflected with a high level of detail in real-time. This eliminates the known limitation of pre-baked cube maps and local screen space reflections when creating smooth surfaces like mirrors, and allows developers to create more realistic, consistent scenes. To showcase the benefits of real time ray tracing, screen space reflections were not used in this demo.
This is a very impressive feat given that this CryEngine 5 ray tracing rendering technique can be used with mainstream AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards. Even though Nvidia’s line of GeForce RTX graphics cards has been out for some quite time, a lot of consumers are still pondering if RTX is really worth it given the lack of RTX enabled games. But with this achievement from CryEngine, it will certainly help push real-time ray tracing to become a thing in video games that are going to be developed in the future. More so now that it has been shown that you can ustilize mainstream graphics cards such as the AMD Vega 56 to render ray-traced reflections in real-time.