The first glimpse of GTA 6 came with its highly anticipated trailer, which broke numerous records and continues to receive critiques all over the Internet, even after months since its release. As expected, some engineers have taken the time to thoroughly analyze what RockStar presented, and the initial conclusions are interesting. From the perspective of Global Illumination and Reflections on surfaces, it has been concluded that GTA 6 will have Hybrid Ray Traced Shadows (HRTS), but only on PC.
The GTA 6 trailer was a mix of what we can expect from the game on consoles and PC. It seems that RockStar combined scenes from both platforms, at least according to the technical analysis of some engineers, which has been revealed due to the different Ray Tracing techniques used in the game.
What are Hybrid Ray Traced Shadows, and how do they work?
This technique is somewhat complex and requires powerful hardware to achieve decent performance. Without getting too complicated or technical, it is part of the so-called Hybrid Ray Tracing (although, technically speaking, everything is RTH since there is no unified pipeline as such, that will come in the future), which is complex.
What we need to understand about RTH is that it combines traditional Ray Tracing with shadow mapping.
In other words, you get the best of Ray Tracing with its reflections, global illuminations, and more, but you add smooth and sharp shadows that give a more refined overall appearance since interpolation between them is allowed.
To achieve Hybrid Ray Traced Shadows, another incentive is needed in this hybrid pipeline called Conservative Raster, which is based on primitives. Simplifying the concept, it is a branch of rasterization based on primitives that aims to represent depth with primitive maps, hence the hybrid aspect.
GTA 6 will have HRTS enabled only on PC
With all this explained, a third technology must be added to the equation called Percentage Closer Soft Shadows (PCSS), which many of us have played with in the past for shadows in graphic settings. To achieve the final result with HRTS, PCSS is generally required, which further improves the shadows but consumes many GPU resources in the hybrid pipeline.
Based on the engineers’ analysis of the trailer images, it seems that RockStar will use HRTS on PC but possibly not on consoles:
“One of the obvious features in the trailer is that they can use appropriate RTX Global Illumination (RTXGI) depending on the scene.”
In other words, RockStar could use real-time RTXGI or, alternatively, store global illumination data to load when necessary for static objects. Why do they believe this?
It’s because some scenes in GTA 6 clearly use HRTS, while others do not. Therefore, in summary, RockStar could use static RTXGI on consoles without HRTS, while both would be options to activate in real-time on PC thanks to its higher computing power.
So, the Ray Tracing we will see in GTA 6 will be the so-called “static” kind, due to hardware limitations, and visually much poorer on consoles, which will be the first to receive this highly anticipated game.
The post “GTA 6 will have Hybrid Ray Traced Shadows (HRTS), and it will be exclusive to PC; consoles will have to wait for the “Next Gen”” first appeared on El Chapuzas Informático.