Tracing light rays is an expensive way to render an image, but it's also the best way to produce realistic reflections. We've heard Intel make noise in the past about running various versions of Quake using ray-tracing on multiprocessor systems. Now, Nvidia is showing off a demo at Siggraph that uses one of those Quadro Plex boxes to do real-time, interactive ray-traced rendering. Or so says Nvidia's press release, which explains it like so:
Based purely on NVIDIA GPU technology, the ray tracer shows linear scaling rendering of a highly complex, two-million polygon, anti-aliased automotive styling application.
At three bounces, performance is demonstrated at up to 30 frames per second (fps) at HD resolutions of 1920x1080 for an image-based lighting paint shader, ray traced shadows, and reflections and refractions running on four next-generation Quadro GPUs in an NVIDIA Quadro Plex 2100 D4 Visual Computing System (VCS).
You can check out some of the images being produced by this demo in the gallery below. They artfully meld car lust and computer lust into a big ball o' angst. Enjoy!