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Ray Tracing in Snowdrop: Scene Representation and Custom BVH


How do you achieve high fidelity lighting with ray tracing, while maintaining high performance target in an expansive world such as the world of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora? It requires a good implementation of ray tracing pipeline at multiple levels. This session describes BVH and material management part. The talk shows in detail two different acceleration structure implementations: a custom one used on consoles, and a DXR-based one for PC platforms. It highlights advantages and tradeoffs available with a custom approach, and tackles both common and unique challenges of each implementation, and a range of possible optimizations. The second part talks about "average" material representation, and how Snowdrop handles calculating the average for artist-authored materials, often dependent on runtime inputs.

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