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Ray Tracing Updates Available through NVIDIA SDKs and the NVIDIA Branch of Unreal Engine

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Today, developers can access the latest versions of RTX Global Illumination (RTXGI), RTX Direct Illumination (RTXDI), NVIDIA Real-Time Denoisers (NRD), and OptiX Ray Tracing Engine (OptiX). The updates are available through NVIDIA SDKs and select technologies through the NVIDIA Branch of Unreal Engine (NvRTX). 

Unreal Engine is the world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D creation platform. NVIDIA continues to make it easier for game developers using Unreal Engine to access leading-edge technologies. These custom branches on GitHub are compatible with Unreal Engine versions 4.26 and 4.27. They are intended to shorten development cycles and help games look more photo-realistic.

RTX Global Illumination 1.2

RTXGI off vs. on comparison in a forest scene
Figure 1. A UE4 sample scene showing the impact of RTXGI in a forest environment.

Infinite scrolling volumes are now available to all developers and provide more realistic lighting for dynamic objects without manual tuning. We’ve also done a significant code and API refactor and expanded RTXGI’s footprint with added support to Linux, Vulkan, and Arm platforms. For Unreal Engine developers, the RTXGI plugin has been updated to v1.1.42 which includes quality and performance improvements to the Infinite Scrolling Volumes feature, new functionality for static reflection probes, and a debug mode for 10-bit radiance.

RTX Direct Illumination 1.2

RTXDI 1.2 shown in statue scene
Figure 2. The Sun Temple scene from ORCA rendered in real time using RTXDI.

With RTXDI developers can add millions of dynamic lights to environments without worrying about performance or resource constraints. Version 1.2 adds sample permutations into the temporal properties of the ReSTIR signal, as well as new RTXGI and Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) integrations. It also provides support for rendering a denoiser confidence signal from RTXDI.

NVIDIA Real-Time Denoisers 2.9

Designed to work with low ray per pixel signals, the NRD is a spatio-temporal API agnostic denoising library. Version 2.9 has integrated DLSS into the sample with dynamic resolution scale support. Additionally, new denoisers for ambient and specular occlusion have been introduced, and ReLAX diffuse-only and specular-only denoisers have been added.

NVIDIA OptiX Ray Tracing Engine 7.4

NVIDIA OptiX 7.4 highlighted in museum scene
Figure 3. NVIDIA OptiX 7.4 highlighted in a museum scene.

The latest version of NVIDIA OptiX speeds up compile times with parallel compilation and developers will be able to take full advantage of layered and temporal denoising simultaneously. 7.4 also received performance improvements to the demand loading library, ray payloads, and curves.

NVIDIA Branch of Unreal Engine 4.27.1

Figure 4. A jungle scene using the latest NvRTX 4.27 Branch.

NvRTX introduces an improved lighting experience with the new Enhanced Ray Traced Translucency feature alongside the ability to take dynamic environment captures with ray tracing. We’ve also integrated the latest improvements from RTXDI, DLSS, RTXGI and Reflex.

Unreal Engine is the world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D creation platform. NVIDIA continues to make it easier for game developers using Unreal Engine to access leading-edge technologies. These custom branches on GitHub are compatible with Unreal Engine versions 4.26 and 4.27 to help shorten development cycles and bring photo-realism to games.

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