Microsoft Announces DirectX Raytracing, the First Step Approaching Photorealistic Graphics.
During the Game Developers Conference of 2018, Microsoft has announced DirectX raytracing (DXR), a technology developed in collaboration with NVIDIA, defined as the first step towards the introduction of raytracing in the mass gaming market.
Microsoft will fill the gap between the rasterisation techniques used nowadays in games and the real 3D effect tomorrow, will be the prototype to a new set of methods that so far have been used in a real-time game.
The process will obviously not be immediate: in the early years, Microsoft expects to replace rasterisation techniques in specific areas, such as global illumination, and then make a change of the total long-term deliveries.
Naturally, as the first companies that will integrate DirectX raytracing in their engine, we find Unity Technology (Unity), Futuremark (3DMark), Electronics Arts (Seed, Frostbite) and remedy entertainment (Northlight Engine).
Microsoft has presented some of the main features of the next version of DirectX technology. Currently they’re working on the implementation of tessellation techniques for subdivision of surfaces, on the texture generation tablets and the improvement of operations between the CPU (Central Processing Unit) and GPU (Graphics Processing Unit).
Limiting ourselves to the DirectX 10.1, it will substantially be a simple improvement of the functions and performance, as well as the image quality, compared to the previous generation of free graphics.
The main innovations involve a new technique for blending, improved management of the anti-aliased in multi-sampling, the support for the array Cube Map and higher accuracy of the calculation.
The load of the GPU work is taken into particular consideration, given that over the accuracy in the arithmetic calculation they are working on optimising the global dynamics and ray tracing technique.
It is not clear if this technique will be supported in DirectX 10.1, but the fact that Microsoft is considering it for the evolution of its API (Application Programming Interface) is a significant sign. Intel, in fact, had called ray tracing, ‘the future of gaming’ at a conference last IDF (Intel Developer Forum) and the presentation of Microsoft at GDC seems to follow the same road.
The ray tracing algorithm works in reverse, tracing the room starting from every ray of light until you get to the source of each of them.
This setting makes possible to lighten the algorithm and consequently improve the simulation of the interaction on the scene. Refractions and reflections, also are calculated at the time when the rays strike objects.
Also during the GDC Microsoft has launched another significant innovation.
Talking about Win-ML, the Windows platform Machine Learning that will be launched with Redstone 4, Microsoft hopes to improve the quality of AI (Artificial Intelligence) significantly in future games.
Not only that, but these smart algorithms also allow an improvement of down sampling and up sampling, advances in image details, and much more.
Microsoft, this year at the GDC, announced the future in video games, sure it’s going to take time to see this changing in our everyday life, but one day it will be possible to use all this marvellous technology.
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