Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Computer Science


Computer Science


College of Engineering


Zoë Wood

Advisor Department

Computer Science

Advisor College

College of Engineering


In computer graphics applications, the choice and implementation of a rendering technique is crucial when targeting real-time performance. Traditionally, rasterization-based approaches have dominated the real-time sector. Other algorithms were simply too slow to compete on consumer graphics hardware. With the addition of hardware support for ray-intersection calculations on modern GPUs, hybrid ray tracing/rasterization and purely ray tracing approaches have become possible in real-time as well. Industry real-time graphics applications, namely games, have been exploring these different rendering techniques with great levels of success. The addition of ray tracing into the graphics developer’s toolkit has without a doubt increased what level of graphical fidelity is achievable in real-time.

In this thesis, three rendering techniques are implemented in a custom rendering engine built on the Vulkan® Explicit API. Each technique represents a different family of modern real-time rendering algorithms. A largely rasterization-based method, a hybrid ray tracing/rasterization method, and a method solely using ray tracing. Both the hybrid and ray tracing exclusive approach rely on the ReSTIR algorithm for lighting calculations. Analysis of the performance and render quality of these approaches reveals the trade-offs incurred by each approach, alongside the performance viability of each in a real-time setting.