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Voxel GI: GPU Acceleration, corrected bounces, and reflections



I've moved the GI calculation over to the GPU and our Vulkan renderer in Leadwerks Game Engine 5 beta now supports volume textures. After a lot of trial and error I believe I am closing in on our final techniques. Voxel GI always involves a degree of light leakage, but this can be mitigated by setting a range for the ambient GI. I also implemented a hard reflection which was pretty easy to do. It would not be much more difficult to store the triangles in a lookup table for each voxel in order to trace a finer polygon-based ray for results that would look the same as Nvidia RTX but perform much faster.

The video below is only performing a single GI bounce at this time, and it is displaying the lighting on the scene voxels, not on the original polygons. I am pretty pleased with this progress and I think the final results will look great and run fast. In addition, the need for environment probes placed in the scene will soon forever be a thing of the past.

There is still a lot of work to do on this, but I would say that this feature just went from something I was very overwhelmed and intimidated by to something that is definitely under control and feasible.

Also, we might not use cascaded shadow maps (for directional lights) at all but instead rely on a voxel raytrace for directional light shadows. If it works, that would be my preference because CSMs waste so much space and drawing a big outdoors scene 3-4 times can be taxing.

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4 minutes ago, Lethal Raptor Games said:

Do voxels work by default or do I need to set up some things first?

See the VXGI Lua example. This feature is not complete, but the example visualizes the voxels and reflections.

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