Path Tracing: NVIDIA explains what this evolution of Ray Tracing means

The ray tracing it is a computational process that allows us to simulate lighting much better. This technology was simulated on a computer by Arthur Appel in 1968, but only reached the mass market when NVIDIA included support in the hardware of its cards GeForce RTX of Serie 20 in 2018.

In many games, the ray tracing appears as Ray Tracinga term that NVIDIA has managed to position itself very well, but it can also be seen as DXR (DirectX Raytracing) or some other name, depending on the developer.

What if. Initially, the implementation of Ray Tracing by NVIDIA it was a bit slow to be included in games by developers. But its adoption has begun to be greater in recent years. More than 150 games and even applications have this technology implemented to date.

But not everything is here. Increasingly 3D developers and creators seek to emulate our world in the most realistic way possible. This is where carving comes in. Path Tracing o road tracing.

What is Path Tracing?

Alexandre Ziebert, Technical Marketing Manager for NVIDIA in Latin America explains it to us.

Path Tracing is a more complete form of Ray Tracing. The idea is that instead of just tracing rays in directions by a defined amount, you use the entire path of light, which is why it’s called Path Tracing. Each path is a collection of rays, going back and forth until they reach a light source.

Think about Path Tracing means a change when processing graphics. With the Ray Tracingwe usually have to choose different settings.

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Instead of choosing “highlights” and “shadows”, users will be able to choose “highlights”.

Alexandre explains how the Path Tracing.

“Ray tracing games right now use a traditional raster pipeline and swap one, two, three or more effects for a ray tracing based version, but the pipeline main is still the raster. The idea is that with Path Tracing everything is replaced and everything you see is the result of path tracing or ray tracing. That gives us a further leap in the realism and naturalness of the graphics”.

Will I need to do a upgrade to my graphics card to take advantage of it?

Same as him Ray Tracingthe Path Tracing is implemented from RT Cores. These are present from the already mentioned series RTX 20 of NVIDIA.

Obviously, new generations of graphics cards will give better performance by being able to provide more processing.

tools like DLSS They will allow it to be implemented, achieving greater performance and without making major sacrifices regarding the graphic quality of the games.

Are there already games with Path Tracing?

“Today there are already two games with Path Tracing in real time. One is Minecraft with RTX and the other is Quake II with RTX. You can see that the images are much more realistic, even than more modern AAA games, ”explains Ziebert.

The Path Tracing it is a very interesting technology that we will surely start to see more frequently, depending on how well it can be optimized for mass adoption.

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