Video games are becoming more and more realistic. Graphics and technology are improving and gaming has become an incredible experience, allowing us to fully immerse ourselves in the storyline thanks to techniques such as Ray Tracing, which has been built into some NVIDIA graphics cards for years and is already present on the latest generation of consoles such as the PS5.
Ray Tracing allows for greater realism in different scenes due to improved lighting. How is this achieved? We explain in the following paragraphs if you want to know if Ray Tracing is worth it or what it brings.
What is Ray Tracing and what does it do?
Ray Tracing is a rendering technique or technology that calculates the reflection rays of different forms of light and creates dynamic shadows on 3D objects. It is a technique that requires powerful hardware and has many advantages in the final result, but one main disadvantage: it consumes a lot of resources.
What Ray Tracing does is a new way to achieve reflections and shadows in video games, something that was already being done. But Ray Tracing makes it better. Until now, it worked like this: the console or computer “sees” a 3D scene and, by calculating the distance to objects, knows or chooses where the light is coming from or which ones are in front of it. Thanks to this information, the scene is drawn as a 2D image. But with Ray Tracing you get more realism in all scenes and a better, more dynamic result. However, compatible hardware is needed and not all graphics cards are compatible with this ray tracing technology.
Ray tracing technology, as explained in the previous paragraphs, has as its main mission to improve lighting, shadows and reflections in the video games we play. Although it is not a technology exclusive to gaming, it is exploited in particular in this field. It is especially interesting if we play action games, as it will improve the experience in all scenes where explosions occur.
Where it is used
This method or technology is used in many of the big movies released every year, but there is no need to use professional cinematic equipment as ray tracing already works on some consoles and with some graphics cards that allow us to enjoy its benefits in some video games.
In the future it’s expected to become more common and we’ll find that new generations of consoles incorporate it, but for now we’re only seeing it on the Xbox X and S and PlayStation 5. In addition, the graphics cards that support it, as of late 2021, are NVIDIA’s RTX 2000 and RTX 3000 series graphics cards and the entire AMD RX 6000 family or range.