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The beginnings of ray tracing...

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Jason Z


I am heading off to go camping until the end of the week - and won't have any access to a computer until I get back. However, my recent studying of parallax occlusion mapping has sparked an interest in raytracing, so I printed out a few papers that I will be reviewing while I'm gone.

I have been having some interesting thoughts on how to do some hybrid rendering with raytracing and rasterization together, but I don't know enough about raytracing to know if my thoughts are really interesting or not. Anyways, hopefully I'll have some good ideas when I return!!!
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Hybrid renderers are a pretty common trick in the offline rendering world, or at least were at one point in time. I haven't kept up with RT tech for the past couple of years, but last I followed things, increases in CPU and GPU power were making hybrids less useful. We're basically at a point where first-hit fillrate (the main benefit of a hybrid renderer) is effectively useless in terms of improving overall performance, since all the interesting lighting effects and so on are the real bottlenecks.

That said, though, writing a hybrid renderer is still a fascinating and very educational exercise, especially if you're interested in learning more about RT tech in general.

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