Square Enix’s ‘Back Stage’ New tech demo Shows off the capabilities of ray-tracing

Square Enix, Japanese giant responsible for old favourites Final Fantasy and Dragon quest, has revealed a new teaser demo names “Back Stage”, which has been rendered almost completely with path tracing – similar to ray tracing. Like it’s well hyped similar technique, path tracing processes realistic reflections shadows and lighting in real time. Although some are underwhelmed by the idea of the technique which has become a bit of a buzzword, the demo proves that this groundbreaking technology will feature heavily in the future of gaming, consoles and PC graphics cards. The entire demo was captured on a singular NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti video card.

You can watch the demo trailer below

The Back Stage reader gestures an actress thoughtfully applying her makeup at a lit mirror vanity. The simplicity of the video gives it its charm – skimping on the action to give viewers the chance to soak up the remarkable details in the reflections and lighting. The lights around the mirror gloss her face with a warm glow, the highlights on her face mimicking a realistic picture. The path tracing technology shows the light reflecting differently from the different textures of the actresses features – from the matte of her soft lips to the sparkling glare from her eyes.

Square Enix’s ‘Back Stage’ New tech demo Shows off the capabilities of ray-tracing

“Visual realism improves greatly by using ray tracing, but by stepping up to path tracing, shadows, reflections, ambient occlusion, and diffuse global illumination lighting are all computed in a unified way, by tracing and bouncing millions of rays through a scene, instead of using separate algorithms”, says NVIDIA. It’s clear to see this amazing new technology will enable game designers to really capture realism in a way not seen before.

The Back Stage demo was designed by Luminous Productions, as we are shown when the actress draws the logo in her breath on the mirror. Lighthouse Productions is a studio within Square Enix, and its name is a nod to the graphic engine used to create the “Witch Chapter” tech demo for DirectX 12, and Final Fantasy XV. The team does not work on sequels or spin-offs to existing series, it’s completely dedicated I working on brand new, high profile AAA games. In a move guaranteed to set apart the next generation of gaming from the current generation, the level of detail shown in Back Stage are reminiscent of the quality usually held back for pre – rendered cut scenes. Seeing this kind of groundbreaking detail in game is bound to have game developers following suit with the use of path and ray tracing – which considering the quality we have seen in this demo, can only be a positive thing for gamers.

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