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What is Ray Tracing? Discover the future of electronic games

Discover how the lighting technology known as Ray Tracing promises to further evolve the photorealistic graphics created in video games.

With each new generation of consoles currently accompanied by portable consoles, computers and smartphones , cutting-edge technologies emerge and renew themselves to make the experiences created in the video game industry even more realistic and immersive. the case of Ray Tracing.

Those who enjoy games are becoming increasingly demanding in terms of performance and graphics, and companies are putting their gears in full swing to deliver results in increasingly powerful hardware. One of the pioneers of video cards dedicated to playing NVIDIA, and also her turn to be the pioneer in this type of resource. Let's find out a little bit about this ambitious technology.

What Ray Tracing?

The Ray Tracing a technology from the series of video cards GeForce RTX, which promises to revolutionize the market and retire, over the years, the 1000 series plates. This is a graphic processing feature related to lighting in the environments and elements of the game differently than we are used to, improving graphic aspects such as shadows, reflexes, ambient occlusion, among others. This happens by projecting rays onto objects instead of using standard lighting from game engines current.

The technique consists, first, of an algorithm capable of producing the so-called BVH (bounding volume hierarchy), a type of data structure capable of real-time ray tracing. After calculating the interaction between the beam and the object of the scene in question, it is decided which processing must be done, the ray can be reflected, terminated or even interact with other elements of the scene during its journey.

The official NVidia video exemplifies how we can see the differences.

In a second step, after mapping all the interactions that occurred (path tracing), a kind of granular image formed, pointing out characteristics such as depth and color. This processing by means of an advanced Artificial Intelligence, known as noise reduction (denoising), faithfully transforms this set of points into a frame (image) of the scene.

We must remember that all of this occurs in real time, so all setup the gamer PC in question must be up to date with the minimum requirements.

Advantages and disadvantages

The result of the post-processing effects, given the availability of the plates GeForce RTX and hardware compatible, very impressive. For the case of occlusion of environments (ambient occlusion), shading present in areas of high contrast lighting, we can see that the result happens mainly in the more subtle look of darkening, with a more realistic feeling of depth.

Regarding s shadows (shadows), the ray projection technique allows to identify when an object is preventing the beam from reaching its final destination. Through the interceptions that occur on the object's surface and mathematical approximations, it is possible to identify what and how the object behaves in front of light sources in a detailed and precise manner.

The reflections with Ray tracing are among the greatest advantages of contemporary graphic computing. Until recently, reaching quality levels was only possible through shaders programmable that did not always fulfill the role satisfactorily due to the high processing demand. The result can be seen on glossier or more opaque surfaces, with more or less beams of light being redirected and projected to the user in the form of pixels.

What Ray Tracing? Know the future of electronic games

Among the disadvantages are prices, ranging from $ 500 to more than $ 2500 depending on the models. Some manufacturers offer options with water cooling (water cooling), which further increases the values. There are also cheaper alternatives depending on the automaker, but prices orbit around the values ??stipulated by NVIDIA.

Recently, NVIDIA launched a new line of video cards that brings the technology Ray tracing as the main differential. The GeForce RTX SUPER 2060, 2070 and 2080, are direct evolutions of the standard versions of the same name, and come with 8 GB of GDDR6 RAM, up to 15.5Gbps of memory speed, and clock boost above 1,800MHz.

In relation to prices, the RTX 2060 SUPER, model with more basic configurations, arrived on July 9th with price starting at US $ 399. RTX 2070 and 2080 SUPER, will cost $ 499 and $ 699, respectively. A NVIDIA offers a package for those who take the new video cards of the line SUPER RTX, including games Wolfeinstein: Youngblood and Control. For more information on the new GPUs from NVIDIA, check out our special article on the launches:

Games with Ray tracing support

With the recent announcement of the general specifications for the next family console PlayStation and the subsequent trailer revealing the Project Xbox Scorpio, we know that the powerful machines to come will have support for Ray Tracing. Even in 2019, some games from large companies already have this type of support to make the experience even more realistic.

Among the games released compatible with ray tracing, we have Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Metro Exodus, Battlefield V, Assetto Corsa, Quake II RTX and the early access version of Stay in the Light. About games not yet released, the most relevant Wolfeinstein: Youngblood.

We just have to wait for more titles announcements with technology support discussed in the article so keep an eye on Showmetech to know everything about games and technology.