The Witcher 3 is a great looking game that still manages to hold its own years after its release. Having been released four years ago, the game could have never received ray tracing support, but this doesn't mean that it cannot be introduced through unofficial means.
In a fresh new video, which can be found below, it's possible to check out how amazing The Witcher 3 looks with ray tracing. This is made possible by the Marty McFly's RT Shader developed by Pascal Gilcher.
The developer recently shared how he managed to implement this peculiar form of ray tracing.
What I’m doing is ray tracing in screen space, tracing rays against the depth buffer (a data buffer that contains the information how far an object is away, as opposed to the color buffer which tells you what color the object has and what you usually see in any game). When compared to DXR, it has several limitations: anything behind another object does not contribute, anything outside the screen does not contribute, backfaces do not contribute. The benefits of this shader is that it can run on every game and GPU and it’s a step up from regular SSAO. I hope this serves as a sneak peek at what DXR ray tracing can do and why everyone in VFX can’t wait to get real ray tracing for their games.
Pascal Gilcher's shader is still in the works and it's currently only available to those who pledge to his Patreon. The developer aims to release it to the public once development has proceeded further.
The Witcher 3 is now available in all regions on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.