Minecraft Ray Tracing

Photo credit: Imgur
Just in case you don’t know what ray tracing is, this refers to a rendering technique for generating an image by tracing the path of light as pixels in an image plane and simulating the effects of its encounters with virtual objects, thus producing a very high degree of visual realism. Digital Foundry used the Sonic Ether’s Unbelievable Shadows mod on Minecraft to show what the blocky game looks like with modern 2019 graphics. Read more for the 30-minutes gameplay video.

“To have the entire world always be known [by the CPU] as being made of blocks is what makes this so performant. Because these objects are non-moving and in a binary, present-or-deleted situation, that makes the calculations easier. It honestly just looks like an architectural rendering. This is how light functions in the real world. Many games have a way of faking this effect, but this is generated in real time,” said Digital Foundry’s Alex Battaglia and John Linneman.