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Microsoft DirectX RayTracing added to DirectX 12 — enabling more realistic reflections in games!

Microsoft DirectX RayTracing added to DirectX 12 — enabling more realistic reflections in games!

by Vyncent ChanMarch 23, 2018

Gamers who want extra realism to their gaming experience may want to read more about this technology. Microsoft DirectX RayTracing was announced at Game Developers Conference 2018, and while it may not be appearing in games anytime soon, the new technology gives us a glimpse at the future.

Raytracing is a step forward after the rasterization techniques we have been using over the past 30 years. While rasterization is already enough for some really amazing graphics, it demands a lot of resources as every scene consists of millions of polygons that has to be refreshed every second. PC Master Race dictates a refresh rate of at least 60 fps, so that’s millions of polygons, processed in less than 17 milliseconds.

DirectX Raytracing is the latest feature to be added to DirectX 12, enabling developers to take advantage of raytracing when designing games. It isn’t new. 3D designers and CGI studios have used it for years to create realistic designs and scenes. Raytracing requires even more resources than rasterization techniques, but Microsoft is proposing to supplement rasterization with raytracing for more realistic 3D effects.

By using both techniques in tandem, it allows developers to create accurate and realistic reflections that were impossible with mere rasterization techniques. Raytracing simulates the way a ray of light will interact with objects in a scene, and captures the data obtained from the simulation. Refraction and reflection parameters come into play, and that will all be handled by GPU computation, something that GPUs are getting increasingly good at. The end result will be ultra-realistic lighting and reflections of even off-screen objects.

DirectX Raytracing can run on current GPU hardware, but performance should take quite a hit. If you are interested to see how it enhances your experience, you can check it out in a new 3DMark benchmark test that is expected to be released by the end of the year. The above video is from their demo that was showcased at their booth.

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About The Author
Vyncent Chan
Technology enthusiast, casual gamer, pharmacy student.

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