Nvidia showed off some amazing demos of real-time ray tracing graphics on its Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics chip at its press event at CES 2019, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas this week.

It showed new demos from Electronic Arts on its Battlefield V and Anthem games, where reflections show up in the environment naturally, so you can see amazing effects like fire reflected on the surface of a car as a flamethrower is going off nearby. The Anthem trailer also showed cool shadows and lighting based on sunlight coming through complex scenes.

Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, reveled in the demos. He also pointed out the cool graphics effects in a game coming from China called Justice. The scenery in ancient China looked amazing, as you could see a street market scene reflected in puddles of water on the ground.

“I think Turing turned out pretty well,” Huang said.


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The RTX 2060 is 60 percent faster on current titles than the prior-generation GTX 1060, NVIDIA’s most popular GPU, and beats the gameplay of the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti. Nvidia said more than 40 laptops are coming with RTX series graphics chips.

The real-time ray-tracing technology enables some incredibly realistic effects, like the reflections on a car in the recent Battlefield V video game from Electronic Arts. But not many games are taking advantage of it yet.

Above: Real-time ray tracing

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi/Nvidia

That’s going to change soon as developers embrace RTX, Huang said.

“If you stand back, it still looks largely like a cartoon,” Huang said. “Reflections aren’t right. Shadows aren’t right. And refraction is really hard to do. We do amazing tricks to work around them, but we try really hard to simulate light. That’s where ray tracing comes in.”

He added, “If we capture the geometry, shadows just appear. Just like in the real world. It just works. No faking is necessary. That’s the beauty of ray tracing. However, the computational requirement is just daunting.”

Nvidia has enabled ray tracing, allowing for effects like global illumination, which create an object like the sun and realistic rays that come from that sun, hitting all objects in a scene, that are then captured in a ray-tracing scene. Shadows and proper light are naturally simulated in such a scene, rather than “faked” through rasterization, Huang said.

Artificial intelligence and ray tracing are technologies that Nvidia believes will redefine the next generation of computer graphics, Huang said. Nvidia’s RTX chips use subprocessing from different techniques, including rasterization, compute, ray tracing, and AI.

Scenes have soft shadows, reflecting realistic physics in RTX scenes, Huang said. Nvidia partnered with Microsoft, Epic Games, Unity, and EA Frostbite to bring real-time ray tracing and the software support for it to life, Huang said.

Nvidia uses AI to predict the “perfect pixel” and then render at a lower resolution, allowing for less powerful versions of RTX to run outstanding imagery with great precision. Electronic Arts showed a cool trailer for its upcoming Anthem game, with some amazing environmental graphics — all running on RTX.  EA will support RTX in Anthem, EA said, when it launches as soon as February 15 on EA’s Origin Access.

In addition, a new technique, dubbed deep learning super sampling (DLSS), enables higher resolution graphics using the same real-time ray tracing graphics card and the same scene, thanks to deep learning technology, Huang said. All of the demos in the pictures ran on the GeForce RTX 2060, Huang said.

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