Today at GTC NVIDIA announced GameWorks RTX and the implementation of real-time ray tracing in the upcoming Unreal Engine 4.22 and the latest version of Unity, currently in 2019.03.
NVIDIA Announces GameWorks RTX
While Pascal and non-RTX Turing support for real-time ray tracing is something of a bombshell from NVIDIA, the creation of GameWorks tools for such effects is not surprising.
“NVIDIA GameWorks RTX is a comprehensive set of tools that help developers implement real time ray-traced effects in games. GameWorks RTX is available to the developer community in open source form under the GameWorks license and includes plugins for Unreal Engine 4.22 and Unity’s 2019.03 preview release.”
NVIDIA lists these components of GameWorks RTX:
- RTX Denoiser SDK – a library that enables fast, real-time ray tracing by providing denoising techniques to lower the required ray count and samples per pixel. It includes algorithms for ray traced area light shadows, glossy reflections, ambient occlusion and diffuse global illumination.
- Nsight for RT – a standalone developer tool that saves developers time by helping to debug and profile graphics applications built with DXR and other supported APIs.
Unreal Engine and Unity Gaining Real-Time Ray Tracing Support
And while not specific to NVIDIA hardware, news of more game engines offering integrated DXR support was also announced during the keynote:
“Unreal Engine 4.22 is available in preview now, with final release details expected in Epic’s GDC keynote on Wednesday. Starting on April 4, Unity will offer optimized, production-focused, realtime ray tracing support with a custom experimental build available on GitHub to all users with full preview access in the 2019.03 Unity release. Real-time ray tracing support from other first-party AAA game engines includes DICE/EA’s Frostbite Engine, Remedy Entertainment’s Northlight Engine and engines from Crystal Dynamics, Kingsoft, Netease and others.”
RTX may have been off to a slow start, but this will apparently be the year of real-time ray tracing after all – especially with the upcoming NVIDIA driver update adding support to the GTX 10-series and new GTX 16-series GPUs.