Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Open Source Ray Tracers on GPUs

Project Report by Martin Lingnau


Ray tracing is a rendering method, which is able to create physical correct and photo-realistic looking images. Its structure is utterly different from the prevalent rasterisation. Since GPUs are highly optimized to be used for rasterisation, ray tracing does not naturally perform well on them. This work explains the principles of ray tracing and GPU architecture. It takes a look at how the scientific community tackles the performance optimization on an algorithmic and architectural level. Finally, it provides the implementation of an open source ray tracer to exemplify the procedure.


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