EA SEED showcases Ray Tracing in their “Halcyon” research engine

EA SEED showcases Ray Tracing in their "Halcyon" research engine

This technology is described as 'next-next-generation stuff'

Published: 20th March 2018 | Source: EA SEED | Author: Mark Campbell

EA SEED showcases Ray Tracing in their

EA SEED showcases Ray Tracing in their "Halcyon" research engine

EA SEED isn't that well known, acting as EA's research and development division with aims to "Search for Extraordinary Experiences". In short, this branch of EA researches new technologies and development techniques to support EA's other studios, with AI being just one of many areas which are being looked into to enhance future games.
With Microsoft announcing their new DirectX Raytracing (DXR) extension it is unsurprising that EA SEED is already working on software, looking into how this technique can be applied in future games. The studio has already integrated Ray Tracing into their Halcyon research engine, revealing how it can impact future games with enhanced shadows, reflections, light refraction and more, simulating light in a way that can't be replicated using traditional methods.
DXR is only the start of gaming journey towards ray tracing, a starting step towards what if often referred to as "the holy grail" of graphics technologies, already being used to render high-end motion pictures from the likes of Disney/Pixar.
Ray Tracing is a technology which has been described as "next-next-gen" by developers, as software driven rendering methods are extremely compute-intensive, with hardware acceleration existing only in Nvidia's $3,000 Titan V at this time. AMD has not spoken about their Ray Tracing plans at this time, though they are expected to reveal more as GDC 2018 continues.


Moving forward, we will start to see hybrid rendering methods which use traditional rasterisation and elements of ray tracing, especially as forms of hardware acceleration becomes available on dedicated GPUs and then consoles. The goal of ray tracing is several hardware generations away, though it is exciting to see that Ray Tracing has now moved from a dream to something that will soon be achievable in games.
You can join the discussion on EA SEED's use of DXR Ray Tracing on the OC3D Forums.

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