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What's the point of separating Ray Tracing Shadows from Support Hardware Ray Tracing?

While new Rendering features in UE5 are certainly welcome, the complexity of the renderer in terms of UI/UX is getting a bit out of hand, and is becoming overcomplicated even for expert users. One example is Ray Tracing Shadows toggle being separated from Support Hardware Ray Tracing.

I don’t understand how it works. Why would it be decoupled. I mean look at this:


Disabling “Support Hardware Ray Tracing” freezes the “Use HW Ray Tracing when available” checkbox in separate, Lumen section, but at the same time, does not freeze the “Ray Tracing Shadows” checkbox in the same “Hardware Ray Tracing” section.

This makes no sense:

  1. If the “Support Hardware Ray Tracing” checkbox freezes other checkboxes, then it implies that “Ray Tracing Shadows” checkbox is unfrozen for a reason, so that RT shadows can be used without HW Ray Tracing.
  2. This does not make sense however, because the RT Shadows checkbox tooltip specifically says it is related to HW Ray Tracing. It doesn’t imply it’d have some SW Ray Tracing fallback. It also doesn’t make sense given that the checkbox is explicitly placed in a category called HW Ray Tracing.
  3. It further does not make sense as I don’t see why RT Shadows should be some special snowflake RT feature with separate switch from other RT features, like GI, AO, Reflections, and so on, which do not have their individual switches.

Can someone explain?

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