Supporter Updates 2023-09: KappaPT Rework

Hi folks,

The first preview of the KappaPT rework is finally out and comes with some substantial visual improvements, but as you might expect there are also a lot of things to be aware of for now, as it is still very much a work-in-progress.

First and foremost, the performance is currently worse than it could and should be, as I have mostly focused on just making things work for now and it makes more sense to actually clean it up and tie everything together after I figured out what approaches are best for certain features and which ones I even want to keep in their current form. In addition to that there might also be various bugs if you deviate too far from the default settings and many setting might be ineffective as of now since I’ve completely redone large parts of the pack. Dimensions are also currently not supported as I’ve already announced elsewhere, I want to make sure everything works fine in the overworld first.

Now for the good stuff, world-space reflections and the accompanying denoising have received some substantial improvements and should generally be a lot more stable and smooth looking than before, and might also not be as much of a performance hog as before, since I am now able to split them off into their own shading passes, which allows me to do things in a cleaner and more optimised way when compared to just cramming it into the already packed composite passes. The indirect lighting should also look a bit more pleasant now, although I only went for visual parity there for now, but features such as ray guiding or ReSTIR are in the bag for the long run, now that I actually have the possibility of freeing up the necessary space in the framebuffer attachments. Handheld emission is also present now, and is mostly just like what you already know from NostalgiaVX and Soft Voxels there.

Last but not least, I have already brought some changes from Kappa Shader v5.1 and 5.2 into the current KappaPT preview, and it’ll eventually reach parity when the rework is fully done and everything works as intended.

I hope you like this, although very work-in progress, preview and some of the improvements it brings :)

KappaPT P17 Changelog:

  • overhauled voxel storage and updated path tracer accordingly
  • completely reworked irradiance cache
    • should now be much more leak-free and robust
  • removed emission LPV (temporarily?)
  • overhauled voxel pt lighting
  • overhauled reflections and the accompanying denoiser
    • now uses temporal accumulation
  • shadowmap now uses full shadowmap resolution thanks to new voxel storage
  • moved various internals to more modern approaches and functionalities of iris (eg. SSBOs, custom images, compute shaders etc)
  • added handheld emission support
  • integrated a handful of changes from Kappa Shader v5.1 and 5.2 (full parity will follow later)
  • fixed various minor rendering issues
  • added aces reference gamut compression to reduce “colour burning” of saturated colours

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