A software development kit for achieving high performance ray tracing on the GPU.

Image courtesy Tom Grammerstorf

The OptiX API is 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.

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.

Get OptiX     Documentation

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Key Features

  • Programmable GPU-accelerated Ray-Tracing Pipeline
  • Single-ray shader programming model using C++
  • Optimized for current and future generations of NVIDIA GPU architectures
  • Transparently scales across multiple GPUs
  • Automatically combines GPU memory over NVLink for large scenes
  • AI Accelerated rendering
  • Free for Commercial-Use
Operating System Windows, Linux and Mac OS
(see release notes for specific version)

NVIDIA GeForce, Quadro and Tesla products with Kepler, Maxwell, Pascal and Volta generation GPUs.

Recent NVIDIA Display Driver

Development Environment C/C++ Compiler and Recent CUDA Toolkit

AI-Accelerated Denoiser

NVIDIA rendering partners can add AI-accelerated denoising to their renderers using the SDK.

Learn more about the AI-Accelerated Denoiser

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.

Watch SIGGRAPH talk on OptiX integration in Flow

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

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.

Click here or the image to watch the video

Image courtesy of VMD, Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


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

AAA Studios FurryBall

AAA Studios FurryBall is a production-quality, final-frame GPU renderer with advanced rendering techniques. It works as a plugin for Maya and 3ds Max with network rendering and multi-GPU support. FurryBall RT uses NVIDIA OptiX™ for its physically based, full global illumination renderer that is used both in the interactive viewport and for final frame rendering.

Learn more about FurryBall

Image courtesy of AAA Studios.

Developer Forums

Our forum community is where Developers can ask questions, share experiences and participate in discussions with NVIDIA and other experts in the field.

Check out available forums here.


OptiX Advanced Samples

This is a set of advanced samples for the NVIDIA OptiX Ray Tracing Engine. They assume some previous experience with OptiX and physically based rendering, unlike the basic tutorial-style samples in the SDK directory of the OptiX 4.0 distribution. They also use some different libraries than the SDK samples; GLFW and imgui in place of GLUT, for example. This means you cannot generally copy one of the advanced samples directly into the SDK, and vice versa.

Get Advanced Samples

Get more samples here.

For business critical matters contact: OptiX-Help@nvidia.com