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Godot is preparing to implement path tracing to improve graphics

The Godot game creation engine, which has been around for over a decade, continues to evolve. Created by Argentinian developers Juan Lineiecki and Ariel Mansour, Godot is used by indie developers for games such as Deponia, The Case of the Golden Idol, Cassette Beasts, Brotato and the upcoming Slay the Spire 2. The most famous game created with Godot is Sonic Colors : Ultimate by Blind Squirrel Games.


Godot is constantly updated, and last year new features were added such as support for AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.2 and shader improvements. Yesterday, Juan Lineiecki shared plans to create cinematic renderings using path tracing. Unlike hybrid solutions such as Lumen's Unreal Engine 5, the Godot team decided to focus on full path tracing.

Path tracing requires modern and powerful GPUs, which may be overkill for most Godot users. Therefore, the main focus was on modernizing the underlying rendering code and solving existing problems. This is necessary in preparation for creating cinematic renderings.

Godot doesn't have the resources of Epic, so the team decided to use path tracing with a basic rasterization pass. This simplifies the process as shadows, global illumination and reflections will be handled by ray tracing. Hybrid solutions like Unreal or Unity HDRP are too complex for the Godot team.

Linietzky also explained why they don't want to use virtualized geometry like Epic's Nanite. Nanite is too complex and not suitable for ray tracing. Instead, they plan to use traditional LODs with meshlets, which is simpler and works better with ray tracing.

Lineiecki didn't provide an exact timeline for introducing path-traced cinematic rendering, but the team continues to work on improving the Godot engine.