Chaos Group previews real-time ray tracing

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Project Lavina uses Nvidia RTX technology to render colossal 3D scenes at 24-30 frames per second

Chaos Group has previewed a new real-time ray tracing technology that renders up to 90 frames per second on the new Nvidia Quadro RTX GPUs.

Project Lavina, named after the Bulgarian word for avalanche, was unveiled at Siggraph with a demo depicting a massive 3D forest and several architectural visualisations running at 24-30 frames per second (FPS) in standard HD resolution.

Rather than using game engine shortcuts like rasterised graphics and reduced levels of detail, each scene features live ray tracing for interactive photoreal-ism.

Unlike most game engines, which require assets to be rebuilt and optimised, Lavina simplifies this process with direct compatibility and translation of V-Ray assets.

Upon loading the scene, the user can explore the environment exactly as they would in a game engine, and experience physically accurate lighting, reflections and global illumination.

According to Chaos Group, one significant benefit of ray tracing is that its speed is minimally impacted as scenes get larger, unlike rasterised graphics.

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Each tree in Project Lavina has 2 to 4 million triangles and there are over 20 different trees, making for about 100 million unique triangles along with the terrain. The forest then has over 80,000 instances, making the rendered scene over 300 billion triangles. All of this is without any culling or swapping, or level of detail – meaning all that geometry is there; all the time.

Chaos Group says that Lavina will eventually be able to handle much more geometry, as it will also support scenes too large for GPU memory by run-ning “out of core” and using system RAM while maintaining most of its speed.

Chaos Group’s findings from Lavina are already being applied to V-Ray GPU. V-Ray GPU will also be gaining the out-of-core work being pioneered on Lavina.

At Siggraph, Project Lavina was running on a Lenovo ThinkStation P920 workstation with a single Quadro RTX 6000 GPU.

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