If you’ve ever played a video game, you know that no matter how realistic it is, there are always some limitations, especially having to do with real-time light movement. For example, mirror reflections that can’t see things not in camera view or a shadow cast from a light post that doesn’t quite keep up as the character walks by.
This also happens in video animations, where light rendering is generally done in advance, and has a less than realistic look when it comes to movement being inserted into a scene.
The technology of real-time ray tracing changes all that. It allows light and shadows to be created on the screen as the action is happening to offer a much more immersive and realistic look to the game or animated video.
At Pro Tech Guy, we’re always keeping up with the newest technology that can impact both our business and residential clients. Besides offering great residential and business IT services in Framingham, we also provide IT consulting, and to do that well, we need to know all the latest that’s happening in the tech world.
While real-time ray tracing might sound like it would only be impactful to video and game designers, it’s something that’s going to make a difference to you whether you enjoy gaming after work or are a business looking to create realistic product animations.
In this article, we’ll tell you exactly what real-time ray tracing is, why it’s being talked about right now, and give you a few video examples of what it means for the representation of light in games and animations.
How Does Real-Time Ray Tracing Work?
Ray tracing is a technique that models the behavior of light as it intersects objects in a scene. The technique uses a calculation of the physics of light, originating from the camera’s viewpoint and tracing into the camera frustum.
For example, if you drew box on a piece of paper, and colored it in, then added an edge for a more 3D look, it would still look fairly flat. If you were able to insert a light pole next to it and then highlight and shade for the light’s impact, that would be a way of “rendering” the lighting effect.
Light rendering, which includes shadows, highlights, and reflections, takes a lot of computer power to calculate and thus is typically done in the production stages of creating a game or video, the magic of real-time ray tracing is that the lighting effects are done on the fly, in real time, so a reflection moves with a product image across a screen or the light and shadows of the sun shining through blinds are accurately rendered on a character’s face.
Here is an example of what real-time ray tracing allows when it comes to fluid lighting effects.
Real-Time Ray Tracing: Coming to a Game or Animation Near You!
So, why are we talking about real-time ray tracing? Because before now, the graphics cards to allow the user to experience the real-time movement of light haven’t been easily available.
Nvidia RTX Ray Tracing brings realism to lighting in games and animations like never before.
What’s changed? Computer chip and graphics technology maker, NVIDIA, recently announced the release of NVIDIA RTX professional and consumer graphics cards using the real-time ray tracing technique, bringing the technology out of professional video houses only and into the hands of small businesses and consumers.
When providing professional IT support for home and business users, Pro Tech Guy often helps customers with various computer upgrades to make their systems faster. A popular upgrade is a graphics card, which computers are dependent upon for fluid game play and working with graphics/video software.
Where can you find the real-time ray tracing technology?
- NAVIDIA OptiX application programming interface
- Microsoft’s DirectX Raytracing API (DXR)
- Vulkan next gen graphics standard from Khronos Group
What this Means for Computer Users
For the gamer and video watcher, this means much more realistic lighting interactions with scenes and characters in games or video animations. Shadows can move seamlessly along with an object and light can reflect and move just as it does in real life.
What this Means for Businesses
Companies that use product videos that highlight what they sell, can have much more realistic product showcase animations created. Imagine how this could enhance the video for a lighting product or even a security system. More realistic and engaging videos help your product stand out.
What this Means for Developers
Game and video content developers have a whole new set of tools to play with to make their work look more eye-popping than ever before.
Interested in Learning More about Exciting New Technologies?
Wondering what’s the newest collaborative office tool? Need an upgrade to help your system keep up with immersive games? Just call on Pro Tech Guy for all your computer needs, from businesses to gamers to family entertainment systems… we’ve got you covered!
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