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Quake II RTX got an update to further improve the graphical fidelity

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It seems NVIDIA aren't quite done with Quake II RTX, seemingly now using it as a testing area to keep pushing more advanced features for ray tracing.

Yesterday, an update was released for Quake II RTX to update over 400 textures used to improve the image quality. They also improved the rendering of metals, which together enhance the look quite a lot, especially since it's quite an old game now. In addition, rendering with water was improved as well. There's now underwater god rays and god rays in reflections and refractions.

They also added these additional options:

  • Resolution Scaling Options: previously, you could decrease the internal rendering resolution to improve performance, or crank up the resolution to increase image quality. Now, there are options to enable dynamic resolution scaling - when dynamic scale is activated, the game will try to keep the target frame rate by adjusting the scale between minimum and maximum. By default, the option will try to keep your gameplay at 60 FPS by scaling between 50% and 100% resolution scaling. If the game is faster than 60 FPS at 100%, it will not increase the scale further, so if you see you have a ton of extra performance, increase “Maximum Scale”
  • Reflection and Refraction Depth: configure the number of allowed reflection or refraction bounces, which most prominently affects the recursive reflections demonstrated earlier
  • Temporal Anti-Aliasing Toggle: enable or disable our post-process anti-aliasing
  • Security Cameras: enable security camera monitors to display real-time gameplay, as shown above
  • Thick Glass Refraction: experimental option that renders more physically accurate representations of thick glass, with internal reflection and refraction

I've now been able to test this myself with an 2080Ti that NVIDIA provided for us a while ago and some of what they've done is quite impressive. Have a look at some quick comparisons I took from the Linux build:

You can clearly see the difference it makes and while some of it is partly due to updated textures, the lighting is an incredible difference.

Especially impressive, as you can tweak the time of day with a hotkey and just cycle through it and enjoy all the graphical goodies. I had far more fun playing with just that one feature than I expected to have since you can make it affect the security cameras as well.

Here's another little comparison for you:

A full comparison between versions including Quake II RTX 1.1/1.2 and OpenGL can be seen on the official NVIDIA website here.

Want to try it if you have a capable GPU? The first three levels are free on Steam (with Linux support), and if you buy the full game it can locate it for you to play the entire game through with RTX graphics enabled.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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15 comments
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wvstolzing 27 November 2019 at 12:10 pm UTC
I remember reading an article a few years ago, which predicted that once raytracing of this sort becomes mainstream, and our eyes get used to it, even the cutting edge billion dollar production George Lucas CGI from the early 2000s will start to look like N64 graphics to us -- with all the shortcuts and brain-duping tricks they had to implement with the lighting -- not to mention games from earlier eras.
mirv 27 November 2019 at 12:54 pm UTC
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wvstolzingI remember reading an article a few years ago, which predicted that once raytracing of this sort becomes mainstream, and our eyes get used to it, even the cutting edge billion dollar production George Lucas CGI from the early 2000s will start to look like N64 graphics to us -- with all the shortcuts and brain-duping tricks they had to implement with the lighting -- not to mention games from earlier eras.

Well....yes and no. Ray tracing has been around for a long time, and they've been using multiple techniques in the film industry for a long time (just look at 2001's Final Fantasy movie). They also have the luxury of not needing to do anything in real time. Looking like N64 graphics is therefore a bit of a stretch, but integration with a live action environment so that CGI doesn't look so out of place? Certainly. It might also go into uncanny valley for being a little too real.
Also, movies (and games) today have higher resolutions, and detail that previously would be blurred a little (allowing film-makers to get away with a lot) are no longer viable.

I personally am hoping that rather than simple eye candy, game developers incorporate capabilities of ray tracing into the game design itself. Purely as an example that comes to mind, volumetric shadows in water might give hints about what is above the surface: enemies, lighting showing passageways or goals to be reached, that kind of thing.

One of the Reboot Develop Red talks also had an nvidia representative talking about how they're expecting the Vulkan core (or I guess KHR first) raytracing to be very similar to what nvidia are now doing. Cross-vender raytracing interfaces would be very nice.
kokoko3k 27 November 2019 at 1:55 pm UTC
mirvWell....yes and no. Ray tracing has been around for a long time, and they've been using multiple techniques in the film industry for a long time (just look at 2001's Final Fantasy movie). They also have the luxury of not needing to do anything in real time.

Indeed, in early 90's Ray, tracing was used even in TV series.
I remember scenes of Babylon 5, Star Trek TNG and Hercules being rendered by glorious Amiga 4000 and Lightwave 3d.
Well, multiple A4000 infact, working night and day to produce 10 minutes per episode at 30FPS at most.
But the results were astonishing as well, expecially for a consumer machine.

Good times...
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Last edited by kokoko3k on 27 November 2019 at 2:00 pm UTC
inlinuxdude 27 November 2019 at 2:01 pm UTC
Well, I just had to but it on Steam (on sale right now at 70% off) to play this.. I just need them to redo Wolfenstein:Enemy Territory now...
Ehvis 27 November 2019 at 2:02 pm UTC
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wvstolzingI remember reading an article a few years ago, which predicted that once raytracing of this sort becomes mainstream, and our eyes get used to it, even the cutting edge billion dollar production George Lucas CGI from the early 2000s will start to look like N64 graphics to us -- with all the shortcuts and brain-duping tricks they had to implement with the lighting -- not to mention games from earlier eras.

On the other hand. I've been playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider and while the graphics is very good, I've been having a lot of uncanny valley experiences. My only explanation so far is that the detail is so good, that your brain expects everything to look real. But the lighting isn't. Not even close. You can see it if you pay attention, but it appears I'm subconsciously aware of it as well. It actually makes me very curious to see what they did with RTX and if that would help at all.
Linas 27 November 2019 at 6:01 pm UTC
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Does it work on AMD hardware or does one need an NVIDIA card?
F.Ultra 27 November 2019 at 6:35 pm UTC
LinasDoes it work on AMD hardware or does one need an NVIDIA card?

AFAIK it uses the VK_NV_ray_tracing Vulkan Device Extension which is nVIDIA only.
Luke_Nukem 27 November 2019 at 8:57 pm UTC
If you enable high-quality pause mode then press the "pause" button, it does a high-quality render of whatever the current scene on screen is. It looks incredible!

Edit: don't know why images aren't being shown. imgur post here.

Standard:
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Warehouse at night:
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Morning (I think):
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Late evening:
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Sun through glass:
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HQ pause!:
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Adaptive res vs:
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HQ of above:
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HQ:
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image

image

image

image

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Last edited by Luke_Nukem on 27 November 2019 at 8:58 pm UTC
ElectricPrism 28 November 2019 at 7:43 am UTC
wvstolzingI remember reading an article a few years ago, which predicted that once raytracing of this sort becomes mainstream, and our eyes get used to it, even the cutting edge billion dollar production George Lucas CGI from the early 2000s will start to look like N64 graphics to us -- with all the shortcuts and brain-duping tricks they had to implement with the lighting -- not to mention games from earlier eras.

I mean not really, it already looks like crap.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaK6ZlicwZE
wvstolzing 28 November 2019 at 10:18 am UTC
ElectricPrismI mean not really, it already looks like crap.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaK6ZlicwZE

Hilarious, it already looks like a 5 yr. old game, haha. I had no idea these movies were aging so badly.
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