Thursday, August 2, 2018

A Ray-Tracing Pioneer Explains How He Stumbled into Global Illumination

You might not have heard of ray tracing, but you’ve certainly seen it. The graphics rendering technique mimics the way light works in the real world to create the special effects woven into practically ever modern movie. With the arrival of our RTX real-time ray-tracing technology, we’re working to make this sophisticated technique faster and more accessible, promising to bring cinematic quality to everything from games to product design. Today, we’re sharing a big part of the story of how modern ray tracing came to be from one of its pioneers, J. Turner Whitted. Now with NVIDIA Research, Whitted wrote the seminal paper, “An Improved Illumination Model for Shaded Display,” which serves as part of the foundation for modern ray-traced computer graphics.