Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Wolfenstein: Ray Tracing on Using WebGL1 (reindernijhoff.net)
235 points by leeoniya on Mar 16, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 27 comments

This reminds me of the Quake 2 Path/Tracing Ray Tracing with Nvidia RTX.

The lighting becomes hard to accept because I've been accustomed to the fast, "fake" lighting in current games, but suddenly with Ray tracing the lighting becomes completely different.


Man, I'd like to see Descent (I/II) rendered like that. Or Quake 3 Arena. :)

A ray tracing renderer for Quake 3 was demonstrated in 2004: http://www.q3rt.de/

Actually I'd argue the lighting is hard to accept because the models and textures weren't designed to be ray traced, and they don't exhibit the intended material properties.

This is very cool. I really like the style that is the result of retro graphics and then raytracing added on top. I hope it will become a common style in games!

Wait, isn't this kind of a big deal?

I didn't know real time ray tracing was already feasible on non RTX cards.

I’ve noticed a few people say similar comments recently. Ray tracing is done via software that (typically) doesn’t require any specific hardware. It may be faster on specific hardware, but it’s plenty feasible in most GPUs. The whole RTX thing is marketing

In the 90s you could say rasterization is done via software that (typically) doesn't require any specific hardware. It may be faster on specific hardware, but it's feasible in most CPUs. The whole 3DFX thing is marketing.

More seriously, RTX adds custom acceleration hardware (fixed function hardware ray box and ray triangle intersection). Whether or not this hardware is required (or enough) for feasible mainstream adoption of real-time raytracing in commercial games is up in the air, but at the very least it turns making a performant, GPU accelerated, real-time raytracer from very hard and only usable in toy applications to relatively straightforward and almost usable in real applications. The RTX name is marketing but the hardware does add some value. As with anything once (if?) raytracer hardware is cheaper, more powerful and more ubiquitous it could have major effects on real-time rendering.

You can do ray tracing on an HP calculator or a postscript printer. You can do the calculations by hand too.

Saying it’s marketing is a little like saying your AMD ThreadRipper is just marketing and an ATMega328 is plenty feasible because the 20Mhz 8-bit processor can still compute anything.

The distinguishing feature of the RTX hardware is that it’s faster.

The geometry is very simple. Realtime raytracing for scenes like that has been possible for at least a decade.

NVIDIA's marketing is working superbly!

Not to discount that RTX is a big improvement - acutally it seems to be msotly deep learning based denoising that makes RTX possible.

Check out ShaderToy.com

You could do real-time ray tracing fifty years ago :D

But you would only compute like 1 000 rays per frame, while now you can compute like 10 000 000 rays per frame :)

On mobile too!

It reminds me my own ray-traced WebGL game, that I made six years ago :) http://powerstones.ivank.net

amazing how much the music and door sfx add to the experience/nostalgia. makes me want to fire up DOSBox and play it through again. it looks like you can actually mouse-look in this version. i don't think that was possible in Wolf3D. also enabling the reflections definitely takes a lot away from the retro feel - too shiny!

If you really want to play through it with some enhancements, you probably want ECwolf http://maniacsvault.net/ecwolf/.

Actually, you could "mouse look" in the original game, sort of - in addition to looking left/right, moving the mouse up/down would also move the character forwards/backwards.

Unfortunately, this article crashes my tab on Firefox 63.

Not that it helps you but on Firefox 65 on Windows 10 (core i7 6th gen quad core mobile) it ran great.

My edge 42 also can't handle it (freezes). Had to use ff (67, fine there)

Wow, FF run rings around Chrome! this demo is almost 70% faster in FF...

It’s good to see that after all these years Reinder is still working on (new) raytracers :D

haha :)

In honour of a famous game review system, I propose an objective, measurable way of rating ray-tracing demos: the 'time-to-sphere': how long is it before a shiny sphere appears in the visuals? It signifies the point at which the creator ran out of ideas and gave up on doing anything original.

Unfortunately, this Wolfenstein demo score 0 seconds. As another reviewer once wrote: It's observably, undeniably bad. It's as if the designer arrived at work on day one, sat down at his desk, sharpened a pencil, threw up his hands and said "well, I can't think of anything."

:) (But on a serious note, what use is ray-tracing if no-one can come up with anything original to show with it?)

That’s because true reflections are a feature of ray tracing, which other technologies cannot achieve.

It’s quite impressive for me to have a real time Ray tracer in my browser.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact