Knights, Robots and Big Rigs: Winning Content Creators Shine in DXR Spotlight Contest

by Michael Herauf

Our DXR Spotlight contest, launched this spring with Epic and Microsoft, culminated today with the announcement of a trio of winners.

The contest invited game developers and content creators to build tech demos in Unreal Engine 4.22 featuring Microsoft DirectX 12 and DirectX Raytracing. It drew dozens of entries for a chance to win NVIDIA TITAN RTX GPUs.

We asked contestants to use any combination of real-time ray-traced reflections, shadows and global illumination — and they delivered.

The Future of PC Gaming Graphics

Developers know ray tracing is the best way to render lighting in a 3D scene. They also know it’s the way forward for PC gaming graphics. It’s already used in flagship franchises such as Battlefield and Tomb Raider and will be coming to this season’s biggest titles including Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare, Control, Watch Dogs: Legion and Cyberpunk 2077.

But the big studios aren’t alone in their adoption of ray tracing, with innovative titles such as Stay in the Light showing what’s possible. More is coming, thanks to a thriving ecosystem for ray tracing that includes industry-standard APIs, support in a ton of game engines and NVIDIA developer tools.

There’s no better proof for the importance of ray tracing than the entries into our contest. We revealed last week some of our top entrants on Twitter. We’ve since narrowed that field down to three great winning entries.

Christian Hecht With Attack from Outer Space

Christian Hecht is a 3D artist for design company Tendril, based in Toronto. His tech demo Attack from Outer Space recreates the look of classic 1950s sci-fi films by using ray-traced reflections, shadows and ambient illumination — all in real time — to deliver a truly nostalgic feel to this giant robot invasion.

Alden Filion with Diode

Alden Fillion is a 3D artist based in Kansas City with an extensive game development background. He’s worked on well-known titles like Battlefield 4, Crackdown 3 and Lost Planet 3. In his demo Diode, you infiltrate a castle with a futuristic knight battling the forces of evil. The demo uses real-time ray-traced reflections to achieve stunning results.

Opus Visual with LP Trailer 

Opus Visual is an architectural visualization and 3D visual rendering company based out of Houston. Their tech demo LP Trailer allows you to drive your big rig around a truck yard and uses ray-traced reflections and ambient occlusion to deliver life-like lighting.

Congratulations to our three winners! With the talent and innovation they displayed in the DXR Spotlight entries, we know they’ll be putting their new NVIDIA TITAN RTX cards to good use.

If you’re an indie game developer and want help promoting your title, sign up for the NVIDIA Indie Spotlight program. And if you own an RTX GPU, download and check out the winning entrants.