Epic Games, in collaboration with NVIDIA and ILMxLAB, today gave the first public demonstration of real-time ray tracing in Unreal Engine. Real-time ray tracing is considered to be a holy grail for those creating high-end cinematic imagery, and one that signifies a leap forward in the convergence of film and games.

During today’s “State of Unreal” opening session at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), the three companies presented an experimental cinematic demo using Star Wars characters from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi built with Unreal Engine 4. NVIDIA’s RTX technology powers the demonstration on Volta GPUs, available via Microsoft’s DirectX Ray Tracing API (DXR). An iPad running ARKit is used as a virtual camera to draw focus to fine details in up-close views.

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