Thursday, May 14, 2020


Today Nvidia showed this astounding demo. Pure real-time ray tracing (with some deep learning based upscaling and denoising), no rasterization or baked lighting. So it finally happened...

 Check out the labels on the paint cans and books

The workshop setting in the Marbles demo reminds me of an early demo of Arnold Render from the year 2000, which truly stunned me back then, as it was the first time I saw a CG animation which looked completely photorealistic. If it wasn't for the ending, I would have thought it was clever stop motion anitmation:

The above video was also the reason I learned about unbiased rendering, path tracing and ultimately started dabbling in real-time path tracing, trying to recreate a simplified version of the Arnold demo in real-time (experiment from 2011):

It's amazing to think that we have finally reached a point where the Pepeland demo in Arnold can be rendered with the same fidelity in real-time on a single GPU, merely 20 years after the original.

I remember Nvidia first showing off real-time ray traced reflections on the GPU at GDC 2008 and GTC 2009 with a demo of a ray traced Bugatti Veyron running on a couple of pre-Fermi GPUs.