GDC 2018: NVIDIA Unveils RTX Ray-Tracing Technology

Fresh technology centered around realistic lighting and shadows highlighted the NVIDIA showing at this year's GDC.


The Game Developer's Conference 2018 is underway, and loads of different engineers, designers, and developers are gearing up to show off all of their latest efforts. NVIDIA has just made its own showing, and among the most exciting news on offer is word of NVIDIA RTX, a technology than stands to dramatically increase graphical realism in modern gaming.

GDC always presents the potential for excitement, but there's little doubt that PC gaming fans will be very jazzed about NVIDIA's RTX ray-tracing technology. Ray tracing is a rendering technique that's able to provide ultra-realistic shadows and lighting in games; however, the added realism comes alongside huge demands for computational power. Many modern games are able to present stunning environments through other effects like global illumination, but since ray tracing requires so much power, most users likely only be familiar with its effects through computer-generated effects in Hollywood films.

Of course, NVIDIA's RTX technology is aiming to change this. In a nutshell, RTX will be able to render environmental light levels and shadows not just from a specific light source, but also through and around any other in-game surfaces that might absorb or reflect light from that source. The RTX technology essentially represents a new ray-tracing engine that will run on NVIDIA Volta GPUs, and the team has partnered with Microsoft to enable RTX support through the DirectX Raytracing API. Users can learn more about RTX and ray-tracing technology in general by heading over to this blog post on the official NVIDIA blog.

Naturally, there is other news from NVIDIA's GDC showing: Highlights are making their way to more games through the NVIDIA Highlights SDK, players will soon be able to save ShadowPlay Highlights in a GIF format, and the company promised that users would see more RTX tech on display in game demonstrations from studios like Epic and 4A Games. More specific details regarding these new developments and more can be found over on the official NVIDIA blog as well as the GeForce website.

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