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Now the new consoles are out and this is a shiny feature both support alongside newer PC's, I was wondering what people thought of it.

 

I was watching a Hardware Unboxed review of the new Radeon GFX cards and the reviewer waved the feature off as 'ridiculously expensive fancy shadows' or something. I was actually taken aback by this a little. Now, there is no denying RT grinds GPU's to a halt, but the effects when done well are mind blowing in my opinion. I wouldn't want them in my 120fps competitive shooter, but in a decent story driven game (especially one with lots of glass/buildings etc) the immersion accurate reflections bring blows my mind.

 

There's a good example here from Miles Morales. I'll spoiler it for size, but that's night and day for me. Makes games look so much more vibrant and alive.

 

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.d445f57966138c500c5b83e9e6650bd2.png

 

I hope that developers find a way of doing this more cheaply as for me personally, it's something I want to be seeing more of.

 

What does MUK think? Are screen space reflections enough? Do you want devs to forget about it and hit those 60-120fps?

 

 

 

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For my entire life I have been a graphics over frame rate type, especially for story driven games. 
 

But playing Demons Souls and Miles Morales at 60fps last night was like a Damascene conversion. When I tried switching to the 30fps fidelity mode on Miles it was like swinging through treacle. The reflections were not enough to make up for that.

 

I think fundamentally that until recently the graphical sacrifices needed for so many console games to hit 60fps meant you could accept the hit to smoothness with 30fps. But now the new consoles can run games looking as good as Miles and Demons can in performance mode then it’s a different matter - you can have fast frame rates and shinies, even if it’s not the shiniest it can be.

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1 minute ago, moosegrinder said:

Cars aren't that shiny, though.  The window looks excellent but the car one is incredibly distracting and looks silly.

We're in the early days of a fancy new effect innit. Remember suddenly lens flare was everywhere because oh shiny new. Devs settled down eventually. Same with this, now everything is hyper shiny mirror world, but it will settle down eventually.

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4 minutes ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

We're in the early days of a fancy new effect innit. Remember suddenly lens flare was everywhere because oh shiny new. Devs settled down eventually. Same with this, now everything is hyper shiny mirror world, but it will settle down eventually.

I just find it amusing that people always go "It looks so goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood!!!" because they're caught up in the newness of it. Like when physics first became a thing and yet everything flopped around because nobody took into account that human beings have fucking skeletons inside them.

 

And I agree with Flanders, I'd take frame rate over the shinies. IF I cared enough about both I'd sell my one of my kidneys and buy a PC.

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11 minutes ago, moosegrinder said:

Cars aren't that shiny, though.  The window looks excellent but the car one is incredibly distracting and looks silly.

Was just going to post the same thing - I think the cars look completely unrealistic and distracting. I also think the whole "mirror image" on a non-mirror surface is too much, too (i.e. puddles) and even the window in the SM example is too "perfect" a reflection. I think it looks pretty overdone in Watch Dogs too, from some videos I watched on it.

 

It's like every new graphical technique though, devs love to show it off even if it is too much and a bit gaudy. It will be toned-down over time and will get to a point where your brain recognises it is there and thinks it's real without it being so in your face and that's when it will start to be properly immersive.

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1 minute ago, Gabe said:

Was just going to post the same thing - I think the cars look completely unrealistic and distracting. I also think the whole "mirror image" on a non-mirror surface is too much, too (i.e. puddles) and even the window in the SM example is too "perfect" a reflection. I think it looks pretty overdone in Watch Dogs too, from some videos I watched on it.

 

It's like every new graphical technique though, devs love to show it off even if it is too much and a bit gaudy. It will be toned-down over time and will get to a point where your brain recognises it is there and thinks it's real without it being so in your face and that's when it will start to be properly immersive.

 

That's a good point. What it doesn't take into account is imperfections in the material that's reflecting. Like the cars would be dirty, panels would be slightly warped and pitted. The right hand car reflection is warped but not in the way you'd expect.

 

This is all very nit picky. For me it kind of brings to the fore the argument that there's things you'd want these advances to take into account. Like when the One and PS4 came out I kind of hoped someone would figure out a way to stop your weapons and armour clipping through you in RPGs and whatnot. You can make the armour as shiny or as fucked as you want but when it's clipping through your characters head or torso it's just..... eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehn. 

 

Seeing as I'm off on one I'll say this one more time: art direction>graphical grunt any day of the week.

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I got an RTX card yesterday - so I'm currently in the midst of trying everything with Ray Tracing I can get my hands on...

 

Minecraft RTX has been very good (the Nvidia demo worlds are impressive)

 

And this is good too:

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Flanders said:

For my entire life I have been a graphics over frame rate type, especially for story driven games. 
 

But playing Demons Souls and Miles Morales at 60fps last night was like a Damascene conversion. When I tried switching to the 30fps fidelity mode on Miles it was like swinging through treacle. The reflections were not enough to make up for that.

 

I think fundamentally that until recently the graphical sacrifices needed for so many console games to hit 60fps meant you could accept the hit to smoothness with 30fps. But now the new consoles can run games looking as good as Miles and Demons can in performance mode then it’s a different matter - you can have fast frame rates and shinies, even if it’s not the shiniest it can be.

 

I'm in the exact same place. Demon Souls as it runs is probably the most I have ever been impressed with a console launch title, so I was initially quite underwhelmed with Miles Morales. Sure the RT, etc. setting looks incredible when you are static and can admire how pretty it is, but when I switched to performance mode THAT was when I truly felt like this was a next gen title and more importantly a step up from the PS4 Spiderman.

 

So yeah, there is a limit to how beautiful things need to be when the sacrifice for hitting it is the smoothness of the experience. But these are the first titles on consoles that have yeeeeears to improve so there is no reason why at some point we cant have it all.... I think :)

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39 minutes ago, Flanders said:

But playing Demons Souls and Miles Morales at 60fps last night was like a Damascene conversion. When I tried switching to the 30fps fidelity mode on Miles it was like swinging through treacle. The reflections were not enough to make up for that.=

 

It's interesting, for me I completely agree with you about Demons Souls, definitely plays better in 60fps mode given how precise and focused the combat is and that there's almost no difference in picture quality as it doesn't employ ray tracing in either mode. The motion blur isn't great either in 30fps either which really accentuates the lower frame rate. 

 

Spiderman though is a different beast for me. The combat is a bit mindless and mashy so 30fps doesn't matter that much and the moblur looks great which helps cover up the sins of 30fps. But my god the ray tracing looks incredible. Swinging around at night looking at neon signs rippling perfectly across nearby buildings is just breathtaking stuff.

 

For me resolution is the least important factor, I'd love a 1080p/1440p 60fps mode with RT in Spiderman but marketing people, you suspect, prioritise these things differently.

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I think I agree with all the points raised so far. It is too crisp and perfect in still images, but imo looks better when moving around anyway. The Division 1 and 2 are two of the best looking games of last gen in my opinion, but the reflections are horrid. Just a perfect example of why we need a new solution. When you move around, these flat, generic low res reflections stay impossibly and perfectly still.

 

Even RT in its infancy lets things shift around in a much more realistic way. I took a Spider Bot for a walk through the middle of Oxford Circus in the night in the rain in Watch Dogs Legion the other evening and it blew my mind just how much detail was there. Reflections on the metal legs, in the puddles, in the passing cars all shifting around realistically as I moved. This is the best example I could find. The red of the neon building, the headlights on the wet road. Love it!

 

xboxseriesxnextgen.gif

 

It is a massive performance hit though and I do like those smooth high frames.

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2 minutes ago, petrolgirls said:

 

It's interesting, for me I completely agree with you about Demons Souls, definitely plays better in 60fps mode given how precise and focused the combat is and that there's almost no difference in picture quality as it doesn't employ ray tracing in either mode. The motion blur isn't great either in 30fps either which really accentuates the lower frame rate. 

 

Spiderman though is a different beast for me. The combat is a bit mindless and mashy so 30fps doesn't matter that much and the moblur looks great which helps cover up the sins of 30fps. But my god the ray tracing looks incredible. Swinging around at night looking at neon signs rippling perfectly across nearby buildings is just breathtaking stuff.


Well, I stuck on Spiderman after playing Astro and Demon’s for a couple of hours. Even the opening cutscene in the default 30fps fidelity mode felt a bit off, and then the actual

swinging felt really off - then I switched to the performance mode and it absolutely popped.

 

It gave me flashbacks to 1998 when my sister and I played Diddy Kong Racing on the N64 after a six hour F-Zero X marathon. We didn’t know about frame rates so we thought Diddy Kong was broken. 

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I got a 3080 recently and have been trying a few games that support it. It obviously looks really nice and for me worth it as it brings more immersion to certain games. I would still rather go with a higher framerate though, but DLSS seems to help a lot in that regard when done right.

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4 minutes ago, Opinionated Ham Scarecrow said:

I think I agree with all the points raised so far. It is too crisp and perfect in still images, but imo looks better when moving around anyway. The Division 1 and 2 are two of the best looking games of last gen in my opinion, but the reflections are horrid. Just a perfect example of why we need a new solution. When you move around, these flat, generic low res reflections stay impossibly and perfectly still.

 

Even RT in its infancy lets things shift around in a much more realistic way. I took a Spider Bot for a walk through the middle of Oxford Circus in the night in the rain in Watch Dogs Legion the other evening and it blew my mind just how much detail was there. Reflections on the metal legs, in the puddles, in the passing cars all shifting around realistically as I moved. This is the best example I could find. The red of the neon building, the headlights on the wet road. Love it!

 

xboxseriesxnextgen.gif

 

It is a massive performance hit though and I do like those smooth high frames.

 

That does look much, much better and more natural than shiny car-o-vision in Spider-Man, yeah.

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One thing, variable refresh rate has the potential to bridge the gap between locked 30fps with RT and locked 60fps with none. If you can hit say 40-50fps in something like Spiderman with RT I'd be a happy man. It's a shame Sony haven't got that as an option at the moment.

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1 minute ago, matt0 said:

Can you mix pre-baked lighting and ray-tracing in the same scene?

 

I can picture some nice spot effect uses that hopefully wouldn't effect framerates, like reflections on your car in a racing game.

 

Miles Morales uses a combination of SSR and raytracing, i think.

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I would love to see it in something like TLOU2 where the gameplay is more pedestrian in terms of pacing, and the lighting is really something to soak up as you make patient progress. FF7R, likewise, would no doubt be one where you would have time to appreciate ray tracing. 

 

In Miles Morales, the effect is more holistic and impressionistic due to the speed of movement. While you do notice the lighting and have an awareness of the extra detail, these gains are marginal compared to the direct mechanical rush of 60fps responsiveness.

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Firstly as soon as I saw the thread title I said it in my head in Daytona style.... Raaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy traaaaaaaaaaacing!

 

I think I’m more interested in the lighting than the mirror reflections, it looks stunning in Spiderman and defi helps with the immersion of the world but I would definitely take the 60fps over 30 with RT in anything that’s fast moving - TLOU3 tho, that is the kind of game and world you can imagine the frame rate being less of an issue as it’s much slower paced and all about that world you are having a journey through.

 

I do hope as the generation progresses we get the option of performance and fidelity so can make the choice - the one X and PS4 pro have been very useful in transitioning the mindset into giving the player the choice!

 

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3 hours ago, Valver said:

I got an RTX card yesterday - so I'm currently in the midst of trying everything with Ray Tracing I can get my hands on...

 

Minecraft RTX has been very good (the Nvidia demo worlds are impressive)

 

And this is good too:

 

If you haven't played it already then I highly recommend Control. Bang on DLSS and with everything maxed at 4K it has some of the most impressively 'real' graphics I've seen. Smooth as butter too which helps..
 

Game is pretty good so far too.

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3 hours ago, Sumire said:

I got a 3080 recently and have been trying a few games that support it. It obviously looks really nice and for me worth it as it brings more immersion to certain games. I would still rather go with a higher framerate though, but DLSS seems to help a lot in that regard when done right.

 

 

Yeah, DLSS is some amazing magic.

 

Being able to have everything turned up, at the highest resolutions, and still be getting over 60fps is quite something. 

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I do wonder how many of these examples actually require ray-tracing to look good enough. I'm often playing decade-old games and I see plenty of examples of reflections in windows, shiny surfaces, mirrors and so on, and they all look perfectly convincing (hell, Mario Sunshine on the Gamecube was doing it 18 years ago) and not a bit of ray-tracing in sight. Is it really worth halving the framerate or resolution to achieve this sort of effect?

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The performance hit seems to be completely countered by DLSS. I can get 60fps at 4K with ray tracing on Control for instance, with no obvious reduction in quality, so if something similar can be figured out for consoles there might not be quite so big a hit in the future.

 

Graphics hardware will only get better over time anyway. You could argue that any new effect isn't worth the performance hit to start with.

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