Q2VKPT seems like a rich area of research. If the entire pipeline could be automated. Using efficient subdivision surfaces and deep learning to intelligently predict light-transport simulation. Then we would merely have to input the game assets of a classic game title. And the output would look like Bioware's Anthem ;)
Train the game upscaling AI with high resolution textures, then ship the game with lower res textures. High quality rendering with smaller file sizes, though won't be as good as the original pictures.
Not very useful in reality, but would be a pretty neat proof of concept.
The question is: would the AI data be smaller than shipping the high quality textures in the first place?
There are plenty of texture upgrades available for Quake, but I haven't really seen any model updates.
So yes, upgrading models and even the level geometry would be very cool IMO.
Q2VKPT is different in that it does no traditional rasterization at all for the 3d graphics (only the HUD graphics are rasterized). The rest is path traced with multiple reflections even for the diffuse surfaces. Because of this purity in its approach it is quite unique.
QVKPT is from the guy who invented the postprocessing filter used to denoise the images in this implementation. The graphics would be way worse without that filter (there has to be a convar to disable it).
no filter: http://brechpunkt.de/q2vkpt/images/path_tracer_720p.png
The denoise filter might as well be the main achievement of this project. Edit: note that if I understand correctly, the filter doesn't operate on single frames, but considers several previous frames in order to maintain temporal cohesion and to improve quality.
Do you happen to know how bad are the artifacts? I remember temporal antialiasing produced very good results with static scenes, but fell apart on dynamic ones.
The lighting in this version of Q2 is vastly more physically correct than in a lot of current generation modern engines. So it really should feel more real. I think this shows why hardware accelerated ray tracing is such a big deal for realtime graphics.
Do a bloom post-processing filter to give the impression of brighter than maximum. I can see how this might not be considered the point because it's not a ray-tracing solution, but it is a simple screen-space operation that's independent of the technique used to generate the base image. Including such a filter can add a lot of visual appeal, particularly enhancing the lighting benefits of path tracing.
Except full scene water reflection. This is pure awesomeness, and completely distracted me from watching gameplay.
I wonder how different two, three and four bounces of indirect lighting would make it look.
Would be super interesting to see a side-by-side comparison.
Having said that, variable shading rate is a feature of the newest NVIDIA GPUs (and supported by Wolfenstein: New Order) and it could be used with a sufficiently low-latency eye tracker rather trivially as well.