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Reflecting on Real Time Ray Tracing

March 22, 2018

 

Unreal's latest real time ray tracing reflection demo

 

So, you may have already seen Unreal's veeery impressive demo showing off real time reflected rays (if you haven't there is a link at the end of this short article). If you're working on CG or have a passion/hobby in this area, then no doubt the thought of being able to render everything in real time (the demo boasts 24 fps) as opposed to hours per frame must sound like a dream come true right?

 

Certainly watching the demo, you can see that there is what appears to be legitimate ray tracing of reflections. Take a look in the image above and you can see the reflections in Captain Phasma's armour of the lights in the ceiling and also of the two storm troopers. In the video you can see those reflections move as the storm troopers move, awesome! 

 

So, no more long renders or render farms right?

 

In the future this certainly seems possible, though its important to recognise one important fact (there are lots more coming in this article, but this is the BIG one). The demo you see here is running on a server grade Nvidia box worth $150'000. This piece of gear packs 4 of Nvidia's latest Volta based V100 cards for a total proc