What Is Ray Tracing And How Does It Work?

What Is Ray Tracing And How Does It Work?

What Is Ray Tracing And How Does It Work?

 Ray tracing can make video games look amazing, but what is ray tracing and how does it work?

If you've ever played video games or watched any of the Pixar or Disney animated films in recent years, you've actually seen ray tracing without realizing it.

The term has created a significant boost in the gaming industry in the last two years, and is touted as the future of in-game graphics. So, what is ray tracing, how does it work, and why is it so important?

What is Ray Tracing?

Ray tracing is a graphic rendering method that uses an algorithm to calculate where light and shadow should be in a video game.

For example, when you are looking at a mug or cup, light reflects from the mug directly into your eyes, and your brain understands that the object sitting in front of you is a mug. And when you move your eyes from the mug to find the light source in your room. It's ray tracing.

In today's 3D video games, ray tracing algorithms start with the player's point of view and are assigned to track, identify, and map the light, color, and shadows of various objects on the screen. As a result, the graphics produced via ray tracing are smoother around the edges and more realistic.

Before Using Ray Tracing

Before Using Ray Tracing

If you want to know what moving images were like before ray tracing, just look at video games made in the early 2000s, and compare them to the AAA video game titles on the market today. AAA video games are games that have an A score in terms of graphics, gameplay quality, and of course sales results.

Older computer graphics used a method called rasterization, in which the concept and plot of a 3D light source is converted onto a 2D surface. 3D polygons are translated into 2D pixels, and this doesn't always work out so well. Also, older computers aren't fast enough to keep up with the intensity of video games.

How Does Ray Tracing Work?

How Ray Tracing Works

Ray tracing sounds simple and attractive as a concept, but it is not an easy technique. So how does ray tracing work?

Ray tracing performs a process called “denoising”, in which the algorithm, starting from your camera's perspective, traces and shows the most important shades of light and shadow. It also uses machine learning to form photorealistic images. So, the brighter the scene in a video game, the higher the graphics quality, and the higher the quality, the more expensive it is.

When is Ray Tracing Used?

Ray tracing is used almost everywhere in video games, but especially in cutscenes. Have you noticed why your characters look more alive and sophisticated during video game cut scenes? That's when ray tracing kicks in. Control of the hit AAA title of 2019 is the best example of successful ray tracing in video games.

Outside of video games, ray tracing is also used in many industries. In architecture, ray tracing is embedded in application software for 3D modeling of a building. This makes the architect's imagination of the building design more realistic than a hand-drawn concept sketch, and the modeling lighting is more accurate.

Who was the first game developer to use ray tracing?

After acquiring ray tracing company RayScale in 2008, Nvidia became the first in the industry to commercially launch its ray tracing technology. In 2018, it introduced the GeForce RTX series of graphics cards to consumers. Since then, well-known game developers have joined ray tracing games, one by one and the first game to support ray tracing was Battlefield V.

In 2019, Epic Games and Utility Technologies announced that their signature hardware engine now offers native support for ray tracing. In 2018, Microsoft integrated ray tracing into DirectX 12, its premier gaming and multimedia programming software for the Xbox One. Early 2020, the tech giant launched DirectX 12 Ultimate, an upgrade to DirectX 12.


So what is ray tracing? Ray tracing is a technology that creates an image by following the direction of simulated light. In essence, ray tracing will provide a high-quality visual experience. Ray tracing in video games is still in its infancy, but its entry into the market marks a promising future for the industry.

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Resa Risyan

Just an ordinary person who wants to share a little knowledge, hopefully the knowledge I provide can be useful for all of us. Keep in mind! Useful knowledge is an investment in the afterlife.

Also, read the article about What are repacked and reloaded games?. And see you in another article. Bye
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