Simulation / Modeling / Design

Develop Ray Traced Games Using Unreal Engine 4

Today we are releasing the NVRTX Example Project, which provides some practical guidance in the world of ray tracing, in addition to showing you how NVIDIA technologies can enhance the result. 

This scene demonstrates ray traced lighting that is fully dynamic and can handle indoor and outdoor scenes running on our NVRTX branch of Unreal Engine 4.25. The goal with this example is to demonstrate ray traced lighting that can look and run great for games, as well as give you practical examples of what ray tracing has to offer. It takes advantage of specific ray tracing improvements in our branch like half-res reflections and Hybrid Translucency, and uses DLSS and RTX enhancements to dramatically improve the frame-rate.

The project currently includes two example levels. The first is a graybox map, good for looking at ray traced lighting and reflection without too many other details cluttering up the scene. It walks you through some specific choices and settings that may be useful to know. 

The second is a forest level, meant to be more representative of actual game art and pushes what is possible in a ray traced setting. This is a challenging environment to do in ray tracing, but with the right settings the results can be exceptional.

The forest scene makes use of the free Kitedemo assets by Epic. You’ll need to download this package and add it to this project in order to load the forest level.

Explore the scene and read the notes in the level for further details. There’s some setup in the level blueprint with comments, and it will give you an idea of what some of the NVRTX ray tracing commands are. Feel free to copy them for your own project.

And please, ask questions! Ray tracing in UE4 is full of choices, and there is often more than one way to tackle an issue and potentially get a better result. The goal is to present practical solutions that you can use right now. 

If you want to learn more about ray tracing in UE4, join me on August 4 for the Ray Tracing in Unreal Engine 4 webinar, where we will explore a sample project, and discover how to get great results with real-time ray-traced reflections, global illumination, shadows, and more. In addition, we’ll take a look at upcoming ray tracing features in Unreal Engine 4 and answer questions in real time.

Additional resources:

NVRTX Example Project (.uproject source files)

NVRTX Example Project (runtime build)

NVRTX Unreal Engine 4.25.1 Branch

Open World Demo Collection by Epic, free on the Unreal Marketplace

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