Unity adds preview support for Nvidia’s ray tracing tech to push gaming realism
Ray tracing has been a major topic of conversation at both GDC and GTC so it seems fitting that that the overlapping conventions would both kick off with an announcement that touches both industries.
Today at GTC, Nvidia announced that it has built-out a number of major partnerships with 3D software makers including some apparent names like Adobe and Autodesk to integrate access with Nvidia’s RTX ray-tracing platform in their future software releases. The partnerships with Unity is perhaps the most interesting, given the excitement amongst game developers to bring real-time ray tracing to interactive works.
Epic Games had already announced Unreal Engine 4.22 support for Nvidia RTX ray-tracing, and it was only a matter of time before Unity made the plunge as well, but now the tech is officially coming to Unity’s High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) today in preview.
The technology is all focused on how games render lighting more realistically, showing how light interacts with the atmosphere and the objects it strikes. This technique has already been in use elsewhere but rendering all of this can be pretty resource-intensive which has made the advancements of the past few years to cement this as a real-time system such an entrancing prospect.
Nvidia has certainly been tooting the horn of this technology, but there have been some doubts whether this is just another technology that’s still a few years out from popular adoption amongst game developers.
“Real-time ray tracing moves real-time graphics significantly closer to realism, opening the gates to global rendering effects never before possible in the real-time domain,” a Unity exec said in a statement. In their announcement, Nvidia boasted that their system enabled “ray traced images that can be indistinguishable from photographs” that “blur the line between real-time and reality.”
While the prospect of added realism in gaming is certainly something consumers will be psyched about, engine-makers will undoubtedly also be promoting their early access to the Nvidia tech to customers in other industries including enterprise.