NVIDIA ray tracing book seeks to promote cutting-edge graphics tech

An upcoming NVIDIA ray tracing book is on the way in an effort to get more developers to adopt the latest in graphics technology. Titled Ray Tracing Gems – High-Quality and Real-Time Rendering with DXR and Other APIs, the book is the work of more than 60 contributors who have experience with ray tracing, the technology behind it, and how to make the most of it.

If you’re not a big ol’ graphics nerd, you might not know what ray tracing is. (No, it doesn’t have anything to do with a guy named Ray.) In short, it creates the image you see on your screen by “tracing” a simulated path of light. A lightbulb will put out rays of light and cast realistic shadows and light levels on the objects surrounding it. The tech was largely used for pre-rendered CGI in the past, but more powerful modern graphics cards are making real-time ray-tracing a possibility. Heck, some developers are even managing to make ray tracing work on consoles.

The problem, though, is getting developers to implement this tech. It can be a real gamechanger, but they might not have the knowledge to get it done. Enter the NVIDIA ray tracing book—a document with dozens of contributors who are knowledgable about the tech. The first installment of the book is now available on the NVIDIA developer zone. The chapters currently on there are “preprints” as reported by HardOCP. That means that they will not necessarily reflect the final layout of the finished NVIDIA ray tracing book. That said, the important stuff is the information within and that is unlikely to change.

If you’d like to read the NVIDIA ray tracing book for yourself, you can see some of what’s available so far over on the NVIDIA developer zone. That particular part of NVIDIA’s website is restricted to developers, but it’s thankfully very easy to sign up for yourself. Let’s hope this is the first step towards making games look just a little more awesome.