GPU-powered path tracing
I haven't posted in a long time - busy at uni. I have nevertheless been spending some time attempting to use OpenCL for path tracing. I made a quick, throwaway program, mostly used to check out how a GPU architecture would translate to simple, hardcoded ray tracing. The results are promising to say the least... this little cornell box scene attached has - brace yourselves - 1.6 million samples per pixel, for ultimate crispiness. It is also very high resolution (3840x2160, i.e. twice a 1080p image). And it only took 20 hours of work on a mainstream GPU (I shudder to think how long it would have taken on the processor instead).
I am going to spend some time writing a basic ray tracing wrapper around OpenCL (without acceleration structures, or any bells and whistles), just to test the limits of the GPU. I have to say it is refreshing to be able to obtain a result so quickly. I don't intend to use it for real-time display, as even powerful GPU's are not yet able to do that (they can get away with perhaps at best 64 samples per pixel per frame, which still results in a lot of visual noise).
It will also give me an opportunity to rehearse those shader coding skills I've neglected for so long...
A low-resolution version of the final render is attached to this entry (the full-resolution image is available in my Gallery, and is quite big ~ 5MB in PNG format). Feel free to use it in any way you wish!