Microsoft and Nvidia announced initiatives to ensure upcoming games are as true to reality as they can be with a technique known as ray tracing at the Game Developers Conference 2018 (GDC 2018).
- Ray tracing promises lifelike graphics in video games
- GPUs to take full advantage of it are yet to be available for the masses
- Games like the upcoming Metro: Exodus will use it
Microsoft DXR and NVIDIA RTX Ray Tracing
What is Ray Tracing?
Ray tracing is a method of generating an image with a computer by ‘tracing’ the path of light as pixels and simulating its encounters with virtual objects. What this means is Ray tracing calculates what a pixel would look like if a virtual world had real light. This technique preserves the 3D world and visual effects like shadows, reflections and indirect lighting are a natural consequence of the raytracing algorithm, not special effects, leading to visuals that are closer to reality. Microsoft’s implementation of this is called DXR or DirectX Raytracing while Nvidia’s method, based on DXR is called Nvidia RTX.
Tony Tamasi, Senior Vice President of Content and Technology at Nvidia said, “Real-time ray tracing has been a dream of the graphics industry and game developers for decades, and Nvidia RTX is bringing it to life. GPUs are only now becoming powerful enough to deliver real-time ray tracing for gaming applications, and will usher in a new era of next-generation visuals.”
Microsoft Program Manager Matt Sandy mentioned on the company’s blog, “Today, we are introducing a feature to DirectX 12 that will bridge the gap between the rasterization techniques employed by games today, and the full 3D effects of tomorrow. This feature is DirectX Raytracing. By allowing traversal of a full 3D representation of the game world, DirectX Raytracing allows current rendering techniques such as SSR to naturally and efficiently fill the gaps left by rasterisation, and opens the door to an entirely new class of techniques that have never been achieved in a real-time game.”
Don’t expect the likes of the Nvidia GeForce 10 series cards like the GTX 1070 and 1060 to make use of RTX though. RTX works only on the Volta architecture so do not get expect to get it on the Nvidia GeForce 10 series cards even if it is a GTX 1080 ti.
Metro: Exodus will be using Nvidia RTX which proves that the new Volta graphics card are going to release before the release of the game because the only graphics card with Volta architecture available right now is the Titan V. And obviously a company won’t launch a feature like the RTX when it is supported by only one graphics card in the entire market. Whatever it is we are really excited to see what more the future holds in this universe of gaming.
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That’s all folks!