Playing some more with Brigade 2. I really can't get enough of its awesome and ultrafast photorealistic rendering quality, it's as if you're walking around inside a photograph. Only a headmounted display is missing to make the illusion complete.
I've made yet another short video, this time rendered at 1280x720 (full render resolution), to show that Brigade can really render with superb image quality in just a few milliseconds:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L51hHcbZNhg (720p video)
The quality at this resolution is almost perfect: multiple reflections, refractions, glossy and diffuse surfaces, soft shadows, ambient occlusion, depth of field and subtle diffuse interreflection (mostly visible on the character) all render perfectly and combine just as you would expect in the real world. Take for example the reflection of the shadow cast by the glass horse (reflection+refraction+shadow): this effect would be completely undoable in a rasterizer, which struggles already with multiple transparent objects obscuring each other. No current game handles reflections of dynamic objects and characters well (let alone multiple reflections) and the reflected objects don't cast any shadows. Reflections of refracting objects aren't even an option. Luckily though, mirror rooms are not very common in the real world, so this special case can be safely ignored in games (unless you want to make a game in which ballrooms play a prominent role :).
This is my current wallpaper, 1600x900 render resolution, which rendered in just 4 seconds on 2 GTX 580s (actually it looked noise-free in under one second):
In future experiments, I will be focussing on achieving the highest possible lighting quality in real-time. For example, I think the amazing photoreal animations in the following videos (rendered with OpenCL GPU path tracing) will be possible in real-time very soon:
UPDATE: an avid reader of my blog advised me to add buttons for Twitter and Facebook, I'm still looking for the most unobtrusive way to add them ;-) Thanks Huub!