Ray tracing, which has long been used for non-real-time rendering, provides realistic lighting by simulating the physical behavior of light. Ray tracing calculates the color of pixels by tracing the path that light would take if it were to travel from the eye of the viewer through the virtual 3D scene. As it traverses the scene, the light may reflect from one object to another (causing reflections), be blocked by objects (causing shadows), or pass through transparent or semi-transparent objects (causing refractions). All of these interactions are combined to produce the final color of a pixel that then displayed on the screen.
While ray tracing has long been “the future” or holy grail of computer rendering, we are now seeing the advent of consumer GPUs which have enough compute capability to do interesting ray tracing workloads in real-time.
Ray tracing is forever changing the way you’ll experience your favorite titles. It simulates the true behavior of light to bring real-time, cinematic-quality rendering to the most visually intense games. Brilliant.