DLSS 3.5: A Game-Changer for Cyberpunk 2077's Visuals

NVIDIAs DLSS 3.5 in Cyberpunk 2077 offers superior visuals through AI-driven rendering, surpassing traditional rasterization. Experts praise its realism, while AMD follows suit with FSR 3.

NVIDIA's DLSS 3.5 is making waves in the gaming world, and to celebrate its integration into Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, Digital Foundry recently hosted an insightful roundtable discussion. The virtual panel featured prominent figures like Bryan Catanzaro, the Vice President of Applied Deep Learning Research at NVIDIA, and Jakub Knapik, the Vice President of Art and Global Art Director at CD PROJEKT RED, among other notable guests.

During this conversation, Bryan Catanzaro emphasized the remarkable enhancements DLSS 3.5 brings to the gaming experience. He boldly stated that DLSS 3.5 not only surpasses native rendering in terms of visual appeal but also adds an element of realism when paired with path tracing, a feature that's often absent in traditional rasterized rendering.

Catanzaro shared his belief, saying, "Actually, I think DLSS 3.5 makes Cyberpunk 2077 even more beautiful than native rendering. That's my belief. The reason for that is, again, because the AI is able to make smarter decisions about how to render the scene than what we knew how to do without AI. I think that's going to continue to develop."

What's particularly fascinating is Catanzaro's observation that DLSS 3.5 produces frames that feel more authentic than those generated through traditional rasterization. He explained, "Cyberpunk 2077 frames using DLSS (including Frame Generation) are much 'real-er' than traditional graphics frames. If you think about all of the graphics tricks, all the occlusions and shadows and fake reflections, screen-space effects...Raster in general is just a bag of fakeness, right? So, we get to throw that out and start doing path tracing and might actually get real shadows and real reflections."

To achieve this leap in realism, AI plays a pivotal role by synthesizing a multitude of pixels. Catanzaro pointed out, "The only way we can do that is by synthesizing a lot of pixels with AI. It'd be far too computationally intensive to do [path tracing] rendering without tricks. So, we're changing what kind of tricks we're using, and I think, at the end of the day, we're getting more real pixels with DLSS 3.5 than without."

Jakub Knapik from CD PROJEKT RED concurred with Catanzaro's assessment of traditional rasterization, referring to it as "a bunch of hacks" layered on top of one another. He added, "It is weird to say, but I agree with you. It's a very interesting perspective where you're saying, what's the tradeoff here? On one hand, you have a rasterizing approach which is, as Bryan said, a bunch of hacks."

Knapik continued, "In the past, you could say that you were trading off some quality for performance by using DLSS, but with DLSS 3.5, it's really undisputably a better looking image than without."

One of the key innovations in DLSS 3.5 is the Frame Generation feature, which introduces the concept of 'fake frames' inserted between 'real frames.' This innovative approach results in a substantial performance boost, especially in CPU-bound games, where traditional upscaling methods fall short. Notably, AMD is also following suit with FSR 3, set to debut in games like Forspoken and Immortals of Aveum.

DLSS 3.5 doesn't stop at frame generation; it also introduces the Ray Reconstruction feature, which significantly enhances visual quality when both upscaling and ray tracing are active. For an in-depth exploration of these enhancements, check out Digital Foundry's comprehensive test in their Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty review.

In conclusion, NVIDIA's DLSS 3.5 is reshaping the gaming landscape by delivering breathtaking visuals and realism that surpass traditional rendering methods. With AI at its core, DLSS 3.5 represents a transformative step forward in the pursuit of gaming perfection, offering an unrivaled gaming experience for enthusiasts worldwide.

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