Minecraft is about to get a major graphics overhaul, thanks to real-time ray tracing support for any player using a Nvidia RTX card. Microsoft and Nvidia made the joint announcement today at industry trade show Gamescom in Cologne, Germany early Monday morning, and ray tracing support will arrive as a free update for all PC Minecraft users. “Ray tracing sits at the center of what we think is next for Minecraft,” Saxs Persson, head creative director for Minecraft at Microsoft, said in a statement. “GeForce RTX gives the Minecraft world a brand-new feel to it. In normal Minecraft, a block of gold just appears yellow, but with ray tracing turned on, you really get to see the specular highlight, you get to see the reflection, you can even see a mob reflected in it.” Ray tracing generally improves the realism of a virtual scene by rendering in finer detail the different ways light operates in a scene and interacts with other objects, resulting in more realistic shadows and reflections. In this case, Microsoft and Nvidia say they’re performing a specific ray tracing technique known as path tracing. “Path tracing simulates the way light is transported throughout a scene. It presents a unified model for lighting calculations for many different types of effects that have traditionally been implemented separately using rasterized or hybrid renderers,” the companies explain in a joint press release. Some other graphical improvements coming to Minecraft thanks to ray tracing include direct lighting from the sun, more realistic… [Read full story]
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