NVIDIA announced the release of the GameWorks 3.1 SDK. This announcement was made at the Game Developers Conference (GDC 16). NVIDIA GameWorks is a graphics software suite ideal for optimizing the capabilities of the NVIDIA GPUs. If comes with four components, VisualFX that deals with rendering particles and other effects like Hair, shadows, depth of field, water, smoke, fire, water among others. Then there is PhysX ideal for physics optimizations including, collisions, destruction, particle and fluid simulations. OptiX is ideal for ray-tracing and baked lighting.
What’s new with the GameWorks 3.1 SDK?
The three major new feature of this new release deal with the following:
- Volumetric Lighting: This implements physically based light scattering. This is an atmospheric effect that combines shadow maps, geometry shaders and other filters for creating the right mood and tone. This is supported on consoles and GPUs that support DirectX 11and above. Fallout 4 is an example of a game that features the new volumetric lighting.
- Voxel Accelerated Ambient Occlusion (VXAO): As seen used in Rise of the Tomb Raider video game, this is billed as the best quality ambient occlusion available in PC games today. This solution provides finer details and more accuracy than current screen space solutions. VXAO is supported on consoles and GPUs that support DirectX 11and above.
- Hybrid Frustum Traced Shadows: This is an advanced shadow algorithm. This uses Frustum Tracing. Frustum Tracing is ray tracing where the “rays” are traced from the light source to form a shadow on the receiving surfaces. This way mages show more accurate hard shadows combined with hybrid algorithms to soften the shadow as it extends away from the occluder with fewer artifacts than before. An example of a video game that implements HFTS is Tom Clancy’s The Division.
You can visit the NVIDIA developer website to learn more about the new GameWorks 3.1 release.