Real-time ray tracing represents a new milestone in gaming graphics. Game developers have relied on rasterization techniques which looked very, very good. However, rasterization good enough to achieve near-realism requires a substantial time investment on the part of developers and artists. NVIDIA RTX technology combined with Microsoft’s DXR ray tracing extension for DirectX 12 will enable greater realism while simplifying the development pipeline.
Game programmers eager to try out ray tracing can begin with the DXR tutorials developed by NVIDIA to assist developers new to ray tracing concepts. The tutorial is available in two parts. Part 1 lays the groundwork, with information on how to set up Windows 10 and your programming environment to get started. You’ll set up your first trial application, based on an existing DirectX 12 example.
Part 2 gets into the real meat of the tutorial. You’ll take the example set up in part 1 and add the necessary frameworks to enable the application to use ray tracing. The tutorial dives into how to turn an application using standard rasterization into an application which can either rasterize or ray trace a single triangle. While the application is simple, you’ll have the groundwork in place to begin adding ray tracing to more complex applications.