NVIDIA OptiX™ Ray Tracing Engine

An application framework for achieving optimal ray tracing performance on the GPU. It provides a simple, recursive, and flexible pipeline for accelerating ray tracing algorithms. Bring the power of NVIDIA GPUs to your ray tracing applications with programmable intersection, ray generation, and shading.

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Image courtesy Tom Grammerstorf

Ray Tracing

Programmable GPU-accelerated Ray-Tracing Pipeline, single-ray shader programming model using C++, and ray Tracing acceleration using RT Cores.


Optimized for current and future generations of NVIDIA GPU architectures. Transparently scales across multiple GPUs, and can combine GPU memory over NVLink for large scenes.

Ease of Integration

Free for commercial use. Nsight Compute 2019.4 & NsightVSE 2019.3, debugger OptiX application profiling support.


Introduced with OptiX 5.0, the AI-Accelerated Denoiser is a new post-processing feature to denoise images reducing the need for rendering iterations. This denoiser is based on a paper published by NVIDIA research “Interactive Reconstruction of Monte Carlo Image Sequences using a Recurrent Denoising Autoencoder”. It uses GPU-accelerated artificial intelligence to dramatically reduce the time to render a high fidelity image that is visually noiseless.

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From film and games to design and scientific visualization, OptiX has been successfully deployed in a broad range of commercial applications. These applications range from rendering software to scientific visualization (including Gordon Bell Award finalists), defense applications, audio synthesis, and computing lightmaps for games.

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Thea Render

Thea Render is a physically-based global illumination renderer of high quality. It is a unique renderer that is able to render using state-of-the-art techniques in biased photorealistic, unbiased and GPU modes. Thea Render comes with its own standalone application (Studio) with various tools, material editor and advanced staging operations along with integration (plugins) on various popular modeling solutions.

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Altair® Thea Render® v2.0 integrates NVIDIA® OptiX™ denoiser, dramatically accelerating production of final renders. Users can take advantage of this optimized workflow, creating out-of-the-box, stunning photorealistic images in a fraction of previous render times.

Dr. Ing. Ioannis Pantazopoulos, VP Rendering Technology, Altair
Learn more about Thea Render >

Autodesk Arnold

Arnold is an advanced Monte Carlo ray tracing renderer. It is designed for artists and built for the demands of modern animation and visual effects production. It is available as a standalone renderer on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, with plug-ins for Maya, 3ds Max, Houdini, Cinema 4D, and Katana. With an integrated OptiX denoiser, Arnold takes advantage of NVIDIA AI tech for accelerated interactive rendering.

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The OptiX Denoiser is an invaluable option for interactive workflows in Arnold. The artist can create and move around geometry and lights and get immediate noise-free visual feedback, even for challenging rendering scenarios.

Frederic Servant, Arnold Development Manager, Autodesk
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cebas finalRender

cebas Visual Technology, founded in Heidelberg, Germany and headquartered in Victoria, BC Canada, has been developing 3dsMax plugins for visual technology since 1988. Following the launch of our latest finalRender trueHybrid™, cebas' mission as always, is dedicated to getting the most sophisticated renderer into the hands of the artists affordably by incorporating latest NVIDIA GPU technology combined with cebas CPU enhancements, to achieve a powerful as well as an unique mix of processing power. Our new finalRender's latest addition is the NVIDIA's OptiX 5.0 AI Denoiser feature. Users can expect ongoing innovative updates as finalRender progresses.

This image shows the OptiX AI-Denoiser running in finalRender at 100 samples after only 45 seconds of rendering.

Our very first integration tests revealed right from the start that NVIDIA has created an exceptional piece of software engineering by combining the power of AI and their powerful GPU hardware to surmount what has bothered every single GPU software developer for years - Noise in the image. The use of AI Neuronal Network technology in OptiX 5.0 to enhance the process of denoising and cebas' engineering work on finalRender's trueHybrid™ technology offers a bright future towards higher quality photo-realistic images in much lesser time.

Edwin Braun, CEO & Co-founder, cebas Visual Technology
Learn more about finalRender >

Chaos Group Vray

Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics. They create the technology that helps artists and designers create photoreal imagery and animation for design, television, and feature films. Their physically-based rendering and simulation software is used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies, and visual effects companies around the globe. Their research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning, and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design.

We’re finding the NVIDIA denoising results to be very impressive on interactive scenes, giving artists a much quicker estimate of what their final result will look like. We believe this will speed the creative process while using our upcoming V-Ray GPU.

Vlado Koylazov, founder, Chaos Group
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SOLIDWORKS® Visualization products (formerly known as Bunkspeed) provide a suite of standalone software tools that combine industry-leading rendering capabilities with design-oriented features and workflows that enable easy and fast creation of visual content for designers, engineers, marketing, and other content creators. Import SOLIDWORKS, Autodesk Alias®, Rhino®, SketchUp® and many other CAD formats to create compelling scenes and ultimately the most realistic content possible.

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS Visulaize >

Blog: Introducing the New Artificial Intelligence Denoiser
Blog: From Great Idea to Amazing Product: SOLIDWORKS and NVIDIA Power AI, VR and Virtualized Workflows


ESI Group is a leading innovator in Virtual Prototyping software and services. ESI | IC.IDO provides a Human Centric digital mock-up environment that enables individual engineers as well as teams to explore, experience, validate, and collaborate to resolve complex integration scenarios at the intersection between product function, human interaction and assembly/service requirements.

“We adopted OptiX for ray tracing in IC.IDO. It was incredibly easy to integrate and offers amazing speed and performance with NVIDIA GPUs, this frees our engineering team to focus their time and talents on developing new features for our Virtual Engineering enterprise customers. Offering a unified visualization and physical simulation experience in VR gives users the ability to interact with their products and processes in ways previously only possible with full scale physical prototypes.”

Dr. Christian Odaker, Director of R&D, Immersive Experience at ESI Group

Learn more about IC.IDO

Foundry Modo

Modo’s powerful and flexible 3D modeling, texturing and rendering toolset empowers artists to explore and develop ideas without jumping through technical hoops. Modo® is your starting point for creative exploration.

Without Denoiser        |            With Denoiser

Without Denoiser        |            With Denoiser

Modo artists can now expect to see GPU Accelerated Rendering with Optix™ from NVIDIA®. The integrated enhancement provides incredible speed and quality for their product and arch-viz creations. Developed and integrated in collaboration with NVIDIA®’s award-winning engineering team, Optix™ has been optimized specifically for Modo 12.2 and future releases.

Shane Griffith, Senior Product Manager, Foundry
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Isotropix Clarisse

Founded by animation industry veterans, Isotropix™ is a start-up specialized in developing high-end professional graphics software and aims at providing CG artists game-changing innovations.

Thanks to its AI-driven denoising capability, OptiX 5.0 accelerates the Clarisse path tracer up to eight times! Combined with TITAN V, it will be a game changer for artists as they can make instant creative decisions on images that are very close to final renders — all from their PC.

Sam Assadian, CEO and co-founder, Isotropix

It was staggering to witness OptiX 5.0’s ability to create clean images that are genuinely representative of the final frame. As Clarisse continues to refine the render, the denoiser converges on the final clean result in a smooth, deterministic way, meaning that artists are able to make detailed artistic lighting decisions considerably faster than they could before.

Graham Jack, chief technology officer, Double Negative
Learn more about Clarisse >


NVIDIA Iray employs OptiX technology for optimal performance in both its path tracing and ray tracing render modes. Iray is a state of the art, yet easy to use, photorealistic rendering solution provided as an SDK for seamless integration into custom tools and within industry-leading products from the likes of Dassault Systemes and Siemens PLM.

Learn more about Iray >


OPTIS, the virtual prototyping company, brings life and emotion to all industrial projects. Its world-leading solutions pave the way for a revolutionary design process: towards zero physical prototypes. Since 1989, OPTIS offers its know-how in light and human vision simulation into leading CAD/CAM software and dedicated immersive virtual solutions. This synergy creates true-to-life virtual mockups which are used as real decision-making tools. Today, more than 2,500 clients in over 50 countries already trust OPTIS and innovate day after day with its solutions to ensure the look and safety of their designs, reduce their ecological footprint and bring their future products faster on the market.

“We use powerful NVIDIA GPU technologies, like the new Quadro GV100 to accelerate our simulation applications and algorithms, and NVIDIA OptiX for fast AI-based rendering. Looking ahead, we’re excited about the potential NVIDIA RTX ray-tracing technology holds to deliver more lifelike images faster than ever,” said Jacques Delacour, CEO and founder of OPTIS.

Learn more about SPEOS (Bright Light and Appearance Simulation) >

Learn more about Theia RT (Real-time Color and Material Evaluation) >

Learn more about Optis >

Pixar’s Flow Material Editing Tool

Pixar Animation Studio's new material editing tool "Flow" enables their artists to interactively edit rich, complex shading networks. Flow provides live real-time feedback with full, multi-bounce progressive ray tracing using OptiX.

Pixar Flow material editing tool. Image courtesy of Pixar Animation Studios

Watch SIGGRAPH talk on OptiX integration in Flow >


Redshift Rendering Technologies Inc was founded in early 2012 in Newport Beach, California with the goal of developing a production-quality, GPU-accelerated renderer with support for the biased global illumination techniques that until now have remained squarely in the CPU-only domain.

With OptiX 5.0, NVIDIA continues to lead the way for the use of AI in rendering for design, character generation and the creation of virtual worlds. Integration of OptiX 5.0 was a no-brainer for us — being both easy and free, it turbocharges the creative process and improves productivity for our users.

Panos Zompolas, chief technology officer and co-founder, Redshift
Learn more about Redshift >

SideFX Houdini

Houdini is a 3D animation software application developed by SideFX, based in Toronto. SideFX adapted Houdini from the PRISMS suite of procedural generation software tools. Its exclusive attention to procedural generation distinguishes it from other 3D computer graphics software.

result of denoiser shown on the left half of image above

Learn more about the Houdini denoiser integration>


Unity is the creator of the world’s leading real-time 3D development platform, giving users the most powerful and accessible tools to quickly create, easily operate, and fully monetize amazing immersive and interactive experiences. Unity empowers anyone, regardless of skill level and industry, to maximize their success.

By using AI denoising, artists can spend more time creating beautiful renderings than battling noise. Robust denoising means that creators can focus on iterating the artwork, thereby optimizing workflow efficiency and output quality.

Learn more about Unity >

Visual Molecular Dynamics (VMD)

Visual Molecular Dynamics (VMD) is a molecular visualization program for displaying, animating, and analyzing large biomolecular systems using 3-D graphics and built-in scripting. VMD’s preferred rendering mode for both viewport and final render is OptiX, with full VCA support available. The OptiX path renders the highest visual quality and even has a frame rate five times higher than OpenGL on massive datasets.

Learn more about VMD >


Ray tracing hair and fur is computationally demanding due to the high geometric complexity of ray-curve intersections, and the typical need for hundreds ...

GTC 2020 Sessions
NVIDIA OptiX at GTC 2020

Explore over a dozen sessions that include OptiX. From the new features of OptiX 7 to integrations from partners like Keyshot, ESI Group, Adobe, Autodesk, Blender and Chaos Group.


Conventional 3D rendering has typically used a process called rasterization since the 1990s. Rasterization uses objects created from a mesh of triangles or polygons to represent...


Fully interactive 3D rendering is now a reality with the beta release of Daz Studio 4.12. The powerful 3D scene creation and rendering application uses NVIDIA RTX and NVIDIA Iray...


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At SIGGRAPH 2019, NVIDIA showed how GPU-accelerated ray tracing provides artists with new levels of interactivity and boosts rendering speeds for film and design.



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