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Ray tracing explained: The future of hyper-realistic graphics

From Engadget - April 16, 2018

This is actually the technique that movie studios use to make modern special effects look so good. But those film studios have render farms of dozens of computers running for hours or even days to ray trace each individual frame in a special effects shot. A game needs to be able to crank out at least 30 frames per second on your one lowly computer. There just has not been enough computational power in the average computer to run ray-traced graphics.

But here's where there's some interesting news. At GDC 2018, Microsoft and NVIDIA demoed new technology that supports ray-tracing in games. Microsoft's tech, called DXR, adds software support for ray tracing to DirectX 12, the toolset that underpins most Windows games. NVIDIA announced support for DXR as well as hardware-acceleration for real-time raytracing for its Volta line of graphics cards. AMD also announced driver support for DXR, and some updates to its own ray tracing technologies called ProRender.

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