Ray tracing vs. Path tracing: These are the differences

Raytracing

In modern games, “ray tracing” helps to account for shadows, reflections, and reflections caused by various light sources occurring in the scenery. This happens in real time, which ensures a realistic and detailed representation of the image content. For example, if a car drives past with its headlights on, the shadow of a street sign will move as realistically as possible across the asphalt.

Path tracing

An advanced form of ray tracing is called “path tracing”. This makes more realistic and complex light reflections possible. “Ray Tracing” simulates individual rays, “Path Tracing” processes them. This creates more realistic-looking exposure artifacts, such as when light reflects off a smooth surface and reflects off the ground. This is why “path tracing” is also referred to as “full raytracing” by graphics card manufacturer Nvidia, meaning a development of conventional “raytracing” technology. However, it is obvious that this technology is very hardware hungry.

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