Real-Time Ray Tracing’s Rapid Evolution

In March 2018, Epic Games, ILMxLAB, and NVIDIA unveiled “Reflections”, a Star Wars real-time ray tracing cinematic demo running on a $60,000 DGX Workstation. Just one year later, that same photoreal demo can be run on a laptop equipped with a single NVIDIA RTX GPU.

“The visual quality of that demo came from ray tracing; the performance jump came from RTX,” explains Martin Stich, Director of Engineering at NVIDIA. “RTX is the technology combination of hardware and software that forms the basis of what next generation graphics is. It does this by accelerating both ray tracing and AI.”

In the nine-minute video below, Martin walks viewers through the rapid evolution of ray tracing in consumer-grade hardware. He details why ray tracing is the natural successor to modern rasterization, and offers insights about Microsoft DXR and NVIDIA VKRay.

This video is just a small portion of an in-depth hour-long talked called “GRAPHICS REINVENTED: RTX UPDATE”, which can be found here.  

The full talk provides details about denoising, ray tracing with Unreal Engine and Unity, ray tracing developer tools, and DLSS (deep learning super sampling). An NVIDIA Developer Program membership is required to access the full content; registration is free, and takes less than a minute to complete.

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