Ray tracing being the holy grail of NVIDIA’s RTX platform has been the center of attention in the GPU space. NVIDIA is pushing ray tracing hard, inviting developers to take advantage of its real-time ray tracing technology.

Today, at GTC 2019, NVIDIA announced partnership with Unity Technologies to bring real-time ray tracing to Unity Engine with Unity’s High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP). It will be offered as early-access in the second half of 2019.

“As part of our commitment to best-in-class visual fidelity graphics, we rolled out the preview of the High Definition Render Pipeline last year – a highly-optimized, state-of-the-art raster-based solution capable of achieving stunning graphics in real-time on consumer hardware. We built HDRP with the future in mind and today we’re excited to announce that we are working with NVIDIA to adopt its RTX real-time ray tracing capabilities so we could bring this technology to all,”

Natalya Tatarchuk, Vice President of Graphics, Unity Technologies

To show off ray tracing in real-time powered by Unity engine, NVIDIA showcased a demo of BMW 8 Series Coupe. The demo highlights the striking photo-realism of computer graphics rendered with ray tracing versus real life presentation.

Reality vs illusion: Unity real-time ray tracing

Highlighting what’s achievable with real-time ray tracing, Unity has collaborated with NVIDIA and the BMW Group to showcase the 2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe. Once thought impossible to achieve, performant real-time ray tracing delivers photorealistic image quality and lighting for any task where visual fidelity is essential, such as for design, engineering, or marketing, at a fraction of the time of offline rendering solutions.

Ray tracing, when introduced last year with the RTX platform, had some setbacks. While a definitive step forward in computer graphics, the feature brought down even the RTX 2080 Ti to its knees when turned on. It’s simply very demanding at the moment, but something that will definitely mature with the passage of time. Ray tracing’s inclusion in an open-platform like Unity Engine is a step towards making real-time ray tracing mainstream.

Jawwad Iqbal