Microsoft announces DirectX Raytracing for real-time raytracing

Mar

19

2018

Microsoft has added the DirectX Raytracing to the DirectX 12 api. According to the manufacturer, the technology clears the way for games that are partly built up via real-time raytracing and partly through traditional rasterization.

DXR will initially be used in games as an addition to existing rendering techniques such as screen space reflections , expects Microsoft , where the reproduction of these effects would improve considerably. Rasterization is an efficient and proven rendering technique, according to the company, which can show shadows, reflections and lighting through clever techniques. Yet there are limits to the realism that technology can offer, where raytracing comes into the picture, with its simulation of the interaction of light with objects in a virtual world. Raytracing will soon be real-time because gpu’s will become powerful enough, is the expectation. In time, DXR can completely replace rasterization as an algorithm for rendering 3D scenes.

DirectX Raytracing adds four concepts globally to DirectX 12. The first is an acceleration structure, or an object that represents the 3d environment and that should be the first step in rendering content. In addition, there are the raytracing pipeline state, the DispatchRays starting points for tracing the rays and new shader types such as ray-generation , closest-hit , any-hit and miss . The workload of DXR can be handled with the existing Graphics and Compute engines from DirectX 12.

Microsoft’s PIX debugging tool supports DXR as soon as the functionality becomes available. In addition, Microsoft announces that game engines such as Frostbite, SEED, the Unreal Engine 4 and the Unity Engine will support DXR, as well as 3DMark. Microsoft has been claiming to work for nearly a year on the expansion of DirectX 12, along with developers and hardware manufacturers. With current hardware developers can get started with DirectX Raytracing, claims Microsoft, without mentioning details.

Earlier on Monday , Nvidia announced that its own RTX technology would work together with DXR and enable real-time raytracing on Volta-GPUs. AMD says in a statement that they also collaborated with Microsoft on technology, but does not yet announce any hardware-based support.

Microsoft DXR

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