Ray Tracing in Real-Time Games

J. Bikker
Academy of Digital Entertainment of the NHTV University of Applied Sciences, Reduitlaan 41, 4814DC, Breda, The Netherlands
Technische Universiteit Delft, 2012


   title={Ray Tracing in Real-Time Games},

   author={Bikker, J.},



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This thesis describes efficient rendering algorithms based on ray tracing, and the application of these algorithms to real-time games. Compared to rasterizationbased approaches, rendering based on ray tracing allows elegant and correct simulation of important global effects, such as shadows, reflections and refractions. The price for these benefits is performance: ray tracing is compute-intensive. This is true if we limit ourselves to direct lighting and specular light transport, but even more so if we desire to include diffuse and glossy light transport. Achieving high performance by making optimal use of system resources and validating results in real-life scenarios are central themes in this thesis. We validate, combine and extend existing work into several complete and well-optimized renderers. We apply these to a number of games. We show that ray tracing leads to more realistic graphics, efficient game production, and elegant rendering software. We show that physically-based rendering will be feasible in real-time games within a few years.
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