What is the state of the art in global illumination algorithms in real time applications?

Which algorithms or categories of algorithms are actually used in the wild and what are their characteristics (fully dynamic vs baked, special use vs. all-around GI solution, performance characteristics, other advantages/disadvantages)?

  • $\begingroup$ As Kaan E. stated in his answer, this question does not fit well into the Q&A format of this site. There is too much room for opinions and "state of the art" is always changing. So the answers might be outdated soon. Closing. $\endgroup$
    – wychmaster
    Jul 14, 2021 at 9:34
  • $\begingroup$ What's the hype now? Making older games support RTX. $\endgroup$
    – mdkdy
    Jul 14, 2021 at 18:26

1 Answer 1


This question is too general to be answered in a Q&A site like SE. It would be better to consult to a recent thesis, or a text book. Here are couple of suggestions that come to my mind:

Chapter 11 of Möller, T. (2018) Real-time rendering. Fourth edition. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis, CRC Press.

Engel, W. F. (ed.) (2018) GPU pro 360 guide to lighting. First edition. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group.

Part 7 of Haines, E. and Akenine-Möller, T. (2019) Ray Tracing Gems: High-Quality and Real-Time Rendering with DXR and Other APIs. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4842-4427-2 (Accessed: 22 July 2020).

The fourth version of pbrt.

The list goes on and on...

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the link! I checked the book (Ray Tracing Gems) and directly bought it! +1 $\endgroup$
    – Thomas
    Jul 14, 2021 at 9:34

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