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Tag Archives: Ray Tracing

Real Time Ray Tracing in Quake 2 in 2017, or How Far We’ve Actually Come in a Year

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NVIDIA’s real time ray tracing hype has been taking a beating for its low performance when compared to traditional render methods – namely rasterization, which is what is used in current games. To fully appreciate just how amazing the technology really is, let’s take a look at real time ray tracing from last year. The game is 20 years old and the card was the prime of its time – Quake 2 on a Titan Xp.

How Ray Tracing Works – Technology Explained

Ray tracing is a rendering technique for more life-like lighting effects in a 3D scene. As the name suggests, each ray of light has its path traced from the camera to objects on screen and then to light sources. Traditionally, games use rasterization for calculating the lighting effects, where the image being displayed on screen is flattened into a 2D plane and the brightness of each pixel is calculated according to the amount of light hitting it. With ray tracing, there is a lot more involved such as reflections, refractions, chromatic aberrations, light scattering and more.