Epic Games joined Nvidia in promoting ray tracing to developers at Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2019 in San Francisco this week. In addition to Nvidia announcing that Unreal Engine would add support for real-time ray tracing, Epic Games showed off the technology during its March 20 keynote with a demo called "Troll."
"Troll" was made by Goodbye Kansas and Deep Forest Films using the next major version of Unreal Engine, 4.22, and it runs on a single Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card. In a blog post, Epic Games said the demo's purpose was to "demonstrate how ray tracing can create cinematic-quality lighting with complex soft shadows and reflections"
You can watch the demo below:
Of course, Nvidia also used the demo in its own blog post (opens in new tab) to show what its RTX graphics cards are capable of. The company hasn't sold enough of its latest-and-greatest GPUs to meet expectations, so pretty much since GDC 2019 started, the company has appealed to developers with tools and programs meant to bolster interest in RTX cards.
Despite those extra incentives, it could still take gamers a while to adopt Nvidia's latest graphics cards, especially when they remain so expensive. So Epic Games and Nvidia have both worked to convince creative professionals that Unreal Engine 4.22 and RTX graphics cards' ray tracing support has something to offer them.
A preview version of Unreal Engine 4.22 is available now. Epic Games said the full release will debut "within two weeks." The new version of the game engine boasts more than just real-time ray tracing support: it also has "drastically reduced compile times," support for Google's Stadia game streaming platform and more.