You haven’t seen a lot of lightning streaks in the games, in part because of the limited structures for that. In addition to Microsoft’s DirectX, creators often had to rely on proprietary approaches. Soon, however, it can be ubiquitous. The Khronos Group has launched “interim” ray tracing extensions for Vulkan, the open graphics standard that effectively replaces OpenGL on multiple platforms.
You should see sophisticated reflections, less light artifacts and more natural-looking lighting in titles that support the technology. Whether developers support the approach depends on your confidence in Vulkan and your willingness to implement ray tracing. Currently, hardware accelerated lightning tracking is only available with some GPUs.
Either way, programmers don’t have to throw away their existing knowledge. Vulkan extensions use a “total reliable architecture” that allows people to adopt the approaches used with, for example, NVIDIA’s DirectX or OptiX.
It can take a long time for games to take massive control between the necessary development time and broader hardware support. However, don’t be surprised if you see the relatively new lightning streak. This may also be the key to making ray tracing common outside of Windows, even on open platforms like Linux.
Originally posted 2020-03-19 03:16:00.