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AMD Engineer Brings Path Tracing to Return to Castle Wolfenstein

When we talk about graphic advances in current video games, we can’t help but mention the Laser trace. Thanks to this rendering technique, lighting and shading in video games have been significantly improved. But not only the current ones, since it has also revived old glories like Quake II RTX. Now it’s another legend’s turn, Return to Castle Wolfenstein got a makeover with path follow thanks to an AMD engineer.

Return To Castle Wolfenstein, is a shooting game released in 2001 which was revolutionary for its time, with a graphic part and technical Excellent. This was published by Activision and developed by Id Software, running under their wonderful graphics engine Identification Technology 3. 21 years later, Dihara Wijetunga, Senior Graphics R&D Engineer at AMD, created Wolfenstein with Path Tracing, calling it Wolf PT.

Dihara is the author of Wolf PT, Path Tracing and DX12 custom for Wolfenstein

Original Wolfenstein path layout

So we meet the project wolf ptbased on iRTCW with a background DirectX 12 personalized. Although the author mentions that this is an early stage in his development, he has already shown comparison images on his Twitter. As first impressions, we see that there are cases where the game changes completely.

On two specific occasions, the first when a shadows more realistic in the hallway with a few cells. Here, we observe that it passes from a total lighting by two simple torches to a lighting only by the cells. We also notice that a slight orange touch is given to the shadows.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein with Path Tracing

The second time we see a radical change It’s in the lab, where some rays from the original game didn’t generate any kind of lighting. In the path-tracing version of Wolfenstein, however, the whole room is lit up, again completely changing the graphical environment.

We cannot say that it is a change for all tastes, given that we see that exaggerated the effects to a large extent, in addition to having enough noise. But we must remember that it’s not ray tracingbut Path Tracing, which is faster to calculate and consumes less.

Wolf PT will not use Ray Tracing, so it will work without the need for an NVIDIA RTX

Path Tracing Wolf PT Ray Tracing

Ray Tracing and Path Tracing can be confusing, so we will consider that in general terms they are very similar. Laser trace create a ray of light which calculates the primary lighting and bounces creating more and more rays, although these do not significantly improve the image.

Meanwhile, Path Tracing will publish several rays of light in random directions and will quickly calculate the result using the Monte Carlo method or other techniques. What changes in practice? Well, generate realistic lighting and shading without spending too many resources.

Moreover, he has another advantage direct and can produce fairly good results in most cases, even in complex lighting. This makes it possible for the use of the vast majority of games and, in addition, it is possible to try it.

if you know Refreshthe post-processing effects injector for PC games, you surely know Pascal Gilcher. He is the creator of Screen-Space Ray Traced Global Illumination or GIRT, a mixed solution of Ray and Path Tracing. Although it is not free, its use is very simple, you can see the results for yourself.

So using something as basic as the depth buffer of a game, it is able to calculate the ambient occlusion (AO) and lighting by Ray Tracing, Here we will indicate the amount of rays we want to generate, the length and thickness of the object from which it will affect.

What inconvenienceis generated noise In the areas affected by this lighting change, as it is a quick calculation, there are not enough “samples” of lighting rays.

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