Tag: computers

Ray Tracing Reinvented for New Generation of Video

August featured the reveal of Nvidia’s new line up of graphic cards. They revealed their 2000 series with large upgrades to their 1000 series previously released in 2016. In addition to faster clock speeds, GDDR6 VRAM and a larger amount of CUDA cores – Nvidia has branded their new flagship from GTX to RTX featuring the latest real time ray tracing technology.

What is ray tracing?

Ray tracing is a method of rendering which produces a realistic and completely computer generated light effect. Ray tracing is used by film makers and producers through the industry. Ray tracing combined with the vast improvements of CGI and other graphical technology will make films and other productions look fully realistic.

This video released to demo their real time ray tracing shows the impressive abilities and features that can be used in the industry.

Ray tracing technology has been around for sometime in the film industry and has been in large usage due to the large amount of CGI used in recent films. So why is ray tracing such a surprise to the industry?

How will Ray Tracing cards affect the industry?

Ray tracing in the industry has been mainly done through expensive CPUs and other large server systems. Many companies can spend hours rendering each frame using ray tracing. The addition of the market being diversified by the new tech, we can expect companies to increase productivity and have larger access to these cards. Smaller production companies can now produce CG based films and other projects much more easier than before. Many game developers and small time studios can have better results with the real time ray tracing and can push the limit of what they can do.

How will ray tracing impact the average consumer?

The addition of these new graphics cards affects mainly the industry as it allows developers and producers to utilize a strong graphics cards with real time ray tracing. If you are not into a developing or producing, the card’s strong performance will increase speeds, improve texture quality and even use ray tracing in programs or games you might use. Many game developers have already begun integrating real time ray tracing into many upcoming and trending games.

Below are examples of Battlefield V an upcoming game using real time ray tracing technology.

Should people still get the newly released cards?

The Nvidia RTX cards are the top of the class as of right now for both having real time ray tracing accessible and strong gaming potential.  Real time ray tracing is still a new technology being reinvented but gameplay and recent renders from the new RTX cards shows a lot of potential. AMD has been rumoured of making their new GPUs with ray tracing technology and NVIDIA has the trend of releasing improved cards a year later of release. If you are planning to get a ray tracing card, it would be best to wait out for AMD’s release and other potential upgrades. If you want to wait till the prices are lower, you may have to wait over 5 years for it to become the norm in graphics cards.

So when will real time ray tracing be accessible?

The RTX cards have released on September 20th of 2018 with AMD coming out with their own rumoured around 2019. The market for RTX has opened up dramatically with these releases. Don’t get your hopes up too quick. Ray tracing is still a high end technology. The RTX cards will cost between 800 CAD to 1500 CAD depending on the model. NVIDIA explained that the Star Wars render shown was run on 4 high end GPUs that costed 60,000 dollars USD. The price difference will obviously result in a downgrade in quality but given the upcoming years the prices will go down – all thanks to the start of the competitive market between AMD and Intel for both GPUs and CPUs.


US Prices for the RTX cards


What is the final verdict on the new the new ray tracing cards?

The new ray tracing cards are a sign of rising technology being more advanced and more accessible to the consumers. Many can be put away due to high prices but due to a competitive market, prices are actually decreasing. A high price results in realistic graphics and high performance in games, fast video related tasks such as rendering and the ability to use real time ray tracing technology. The new cards give us a glimpse of what to see in the future as ray tracing and even faster tech will be available for consumers and for those in the industry. The large rise in growing technologies is giving tech companies competition to see how will grow more successful.

– Benson Lam


CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) in film has been used for decades in the film industry. It started getting to the point of realism in the early 2000s. From large space battles to generating an entire person – it can get a little bit crazy. CGI is a good thing in general. It can add on and enhance film a lot. Nowadays most films can have a large portion of the film completely computer generated. A lot of the films we see today follow that trend. Sometimes actors are only needed for an in-studio shoot for a couple of days, then the rest of the film will be completed on computers for the next couple of months.


Sometimes studio can over do CGI to the point where it is almost confusing to the viewers. CGI can sometimes take over 90% of the shot with the actor’s faces added onto a generated body. We’ve advanced a lot with how CGI looks and feels but its not always going to be perfect. Back then, lousy CGI was considered the norm as it was a brand new tool being used and hasn’t been mastered completely. Studios would often use a large amount of their budget on set design and costumes to help replicate what CGI cannot. A good example is The Lord of The Rings film series which were produced in the 2000s during the sprawl of CGI. A lot of the film was done in CGI with large amounts of detail and large scale environments. Although a large amount of the film series was done with CGI they still kept practical and smart ideas with them. For example, some characters in the film are supposed to be around 3 feet tall while the actors are above 5 feet. The directors and set co-ordinators made two separate sets and filmed each different actor in their corresponding set based on height. Once both sides were filmed, they were combined together into one shot. This is a good example of how filmmakers can still use practical and creative ideas to enhance the film without using too many effects.


Sometimes little is a lot and thats what some films excel in with the usage of CGI. A one on one conversation sometimes doesn’t need a lot of visual effects to make it a spectacular shot. Although recent films have made that statement a little less true. ———- Some films do not follow that suit, they may have a focused shot on a conversation with too many background events happening. Visually the eye can focus only on so much, having all these background details can be disorientating for viewers and can leave a negative impact on the mind. Simplicity can sometimes be better for the eyes. A gunfight with multiple explosions and things swinging by might be too disorientating. This can be great for post-editing as it allows the team to focus on key details than leaving some out. An example of simple filmmaking in action movies is the John Wick series. In the films, most of the action scenes were recorded with one camera in a smooth and slow pan effect. The video below shows the difference in filmmaking between two action movies.