Overdrive and RTXDI coming soon in Cyberpunk 2077

As part of many of the disclosures from the GeForce Beyond special presentation, NVIDIA also announced something called Ray Tracing: Overdrive, which is coming soon to Cyberpunk 2077 via a free update. This new mode also includes RTX Direct Illumination, which NVIDIA has been experimenting with for over two years. RTXDI can bring millions of direct lights to the game scene, though its implementation may of course vary depending on the developer’s needs.

Here’s how Ray Tracing: Overdrive in Cyberpunk 2077 works at a glance, according to NVIDIA.

  • NVIDIA RTX Direct Illumination (RTXDI) technology provides every neon, street lamp, car headlight, LED billboard and TV with accurate ray tracing lighting and shadows, bathing objects, walls, passing cars and pedestrians in accurate, colorful lighting;
  • Indirect lighting and reflections using ray tracing now bounce multiple times compared to the single reflection in the previous solution. The result is even more accurate, realistic and immersive global lighting, reflections and self-reflection;
  • Ray-traced reflections are now rendered at full resolution, further improving their quality;
  • Improved, more physical illumination eliminates the need for any other occlusion techniques.

Jakub Knapik, Art Director at CD PROJEKT RED, said:

At CD PROJEKT RED, we are very proud to be technological innovators, and DLSS 3 gives us a significant performance boost to deal with adding even higher levels of ray tracing to provide our players with a visually rich experience.

Needless to say, Ray Tracing: Overdrive will be more taxing than the usual ray tracing techniques on existing GeForce RTX hardware. Fortunately, the upcoming Ada Lovelace GeForce RTX 4000 series GPUs will bring NVIDIA DLSS 3 technology along with a host of hardware and software enhancements that specifically target advanced ray tracing workloads such as:

  • Shader Execution Reordering (SER), which reorders and parallelizes the execution of ray tracing threads without compromising image quality.
  • Opacity Micromaps – Accelerate ray tracing tasks by encoding surface opacity directly on geometry, drastically reducing the costly opacity score when passing rays, and allowing higher quality acceleration structures to be constructed. This technique is especially beneficial when applied to irregularly shaped or translucent objects such as leaves and fences. On GeForce RTX 40 Series graphics cards, the Opacity Micromap format is directly decoded by ray tracing hardware, further improving performance.
  • NVIDIA Real Time Denoisers (East Germany) – Ray Tracing Time-Space Denoisers library that helps you denoise signals with a low ray-per-pixel ratio with real-time performance. Compared to the previous generation denoising devices, the GDR improves the quality and ensures that the computation-intensive ray tracing output is noise-free, with no compromise in performance.

So far, there has been no mention of any other games using Ray Tracing: Overdrive, but NVIDIA has talked about two additional games that will soon receive ray tracing. One of them is A Plague Tale: Requiem, which will support ray tracing and DLSS 3 effects when it is released next month.

The second game to be featured today is the Justice MMO martial arts game NetEase, which has often been at the forefront of ray tracing technology. Now Chinese developers have implemented path tracking with the launch of the new Fuyun Court location.

Justice now supports ReSTIR GI, RTX DI, NRD, DLSS 3, and NVIDIA Reflex. Dinggen Zhan, Chief Justice Programmer and Senior Expert at NetEase, stated:

The two technologies that have changed the visual experience of Justice the most are ray tracing and DLSS, and we are now taking graphics fidelity to a new level with path tracking. DLSS 3 gives us a performance boost like we’ve never seen before. It can even ease the bottlenecks of GeForce RTX 40 series gamers – that’s crazy.

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