Cinematic rendering of cutscenes and even actual gameplay have always been a great deal and wish for many game developers. Also known as ray tracing, this technology simulates lifelike rendering of lights and shadow for an immersive gaming experience.
Currently, a lot of games’ 3D environment is achieved via rasterization, which isn’t actually a bad thing. If you want to load up some information about what rasterization is, you may want to check out this video. TL;DR – it’s all about pixels represented as three dimensions. With ray tracing, everything is about the play of rays, lights and shadows to present a photorealistic rendering of 3D environments. TL;DR on ray tracing – it produces very accurate reflections and refractions. Here’s a video to fully understand how this works.
Today at Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, NVIDIA just jacked everyone up with their announcement of the availability of NVIDIA RTX Technology for Volta GPUs. Here’s a demo of how this works.
The new lighting technology will take advantage of the next generation graphics computing and AI capabilities of VOLTA GPUs. Obviously, this only means that in order to fully experience NVIDIA’s RTX technology, you have to get yourself either a Titan V or Tesla V100 (as of this writing, these are the only available VOLTA GPUs).
If you use a Pascal-based GPU, you’re left off with Microsoft’s DirectX Raytracing, which features basic yet impressive ray tracing technology such as acceleration structure, DispatchRays, new set of HLSL shaders and raytracing pipeline state. You can check out more informations about this on this link. Users of Volta-enabled GPUs will be able to experience all these plus the additional ray tracing technologies inherent to NVIDIA RTX.
Major game developers started to get on board and create games that support the next-gen 3D technology. Some of the companies that NVIDIA and Microsoft are working with include EA, 4A Games (Metro 2033) and Remedy Entertainment (Alan Wake).
In a statement by Mikko Orrenmaa, technology team manager at Remedy Entertainment, “Developing exclusively on NVIDIA RTX, we were surprised just how quickly we were able to prototype new lighting, reflection and ambient occlusion techniques, with significantly better visual fidelity than traditional rasterization techniques. We are really excited about what we can achieve in the future with the NVIDIA RTX technology. Gamers are in for something special.”
The inclusion of Remedy Entertainment sparks an anticipation for the possible announcement of Alan Wake 2, which is one of the best games we’ve played from the major game developer company.
During this year’s GDC, NVIDIA announced an add-on for GameWorks SDK in order for developers to start creating games that support NVIDIA RTX and Microsoft DXR API.