SIGGRAPH 2020 Shines a Light on What’s Next in Ray Tracing

Discover New Approaches to Projection Mapping, Path Tracing, Rendering, and More

SIGGRAPH 2020, which kicked off Monday, features a vast lineup of emerging technology demos, research, and sessions that shine a light on what’s new in ray tracing innovations. This year, the SIGGRAPH conference is hosting the first fully virtual event in its history. Participants can learn about ray tracing advancements on demand and during scheduled sessions 17–28 August, with content accessible through 27 October.

Spanning everything from new rendering pipelines, applications in projection mapping, path tracing, spatial hashing, real-time rendering, ambient and partial occlusion, depth of field, and motion blur rendering, the computer graphics community has left no stone unturned. In addition to juried selections across multiple conference programs, SIGGRAPH 2020 exhibitors will also share demos and insights on their latest work in ray tracing.

“The SIGGRAPH Posters program has selected some truly incredible research this year that just so happens to include several projects which offer new approaches to ray tracing technology,” noted SIGGRAPH 2020 Posters Chair Ana Cecilia Balliache Liendo, of Schell Games. “The inspiring, industry-leading contributions from across the computer graphics and interactive techniques research communities unite us and are sure to provoke even more dialogue and innovation around the possibilities of this tech in the future.”

Highlights include:

Real-time Ray-traced Ambient Occlusion of Complex Scenes Using Spatial Hashing | Talks
On-demand: 17–28 August; Live Q&A: Monday, 24 August, 9 am PDT
Learn how using extended spatial hashing for efficient storage, multiresolution AO evaluation, and ad-hoc filtering computes ambient occlusion in milliseconds in CAD scenes. Full description.

High Fidelity Rendering Unleashed with Intel | Exhibitor Session
Session: Monday, 24 August, 10 am PDT
This session will provide insight on the exa-trends pushing rendering and ray tracing to new boundaries, and how a full platform approach with hardware, software, memory, and other technologies accelerate visualization and compute. Full description.

Hybrid DOF: Ray-traced and Post-processed Hybrid Depth of Field Effect for Real-time Rendering | Posters
On-demand: 17–28 August
This novel, real-time depth of field approach mixes rasterization and ray tracing-based techniques to produce more accurate partial occlusion semi-transparencies. Full description.

Visualization of Angle-dependent Plasmonic Structural Coloration by FDTD-simulated BSDF and Ray-tracing Rendering | Posters
On-demand: 17–28 August
Visualize angle-dependent structural coloration from plasmonic nanostructures through this new rendering pipeline. Full description.

RTX Accelerated Ray Tracing with OptiX 7 | Courses
On-demand: 17–28 August; Live Q&A: Tuesday, 25 August, 9 am PDT
Led by NVIDIA’s Director of Ray Tracing Ingo Wald and VP of Professional Graphics Steven Parker, this course is aimed at programmers interested in using OptiX to write RTX accelerated applications. Full description.

Spatiotemporal Reservoir Resampling for Real-time Ray Tracing With Dynamic Direct Lighting | Technical Papers
On-demand: 17–28 August; Live Q&A: Wednesday, 26 August, 10 am PDT
Researchers from Dartmouth College and NVIDIA introduce a new algorithm based on resampling that renders direct lighting from millions of dynamic light sources interactively using Monte Carlo without the need to maintain complex data structures. Full description.

Realistic Dynamic Projection Mapping Using Real-time Ray Tracing | Emerging Technologies
On-demand: 17–28 August; Session: Thursday, 27 August, 4 pm PDT
From Tokyo Institute of Technology, get a glimpse of dynamic projection mapping using path tracing through this method that leverages persistence of vision. Full description.

“Ray tracing has been around in the movies and in entertainment for years,” adds SIGGRAPH 2020 Conference Chair Kristy Pron, of Walt Disney Imagineering. “But, ever since the real-time ray tracing demo from NVIDIA at SIGGRAPH 2018, it’s been exciting to see how computer graphics has continued to push boundaries and find new uses for this remarkable technology.”

For more on ray tracing, listen to the experts during a recent episode of the SIGGRAPH Spotlight podcast. Access to conference programming varies based on registration level. Click here to view what’s available at which level. You can register for SIGGRAPH 2020, the 47th international conference and exhibition on computer graphics and interactive techniques, through 11 September at s2020.SIGGRAPH.org/register.


ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources, and address the field’s challenges. ACM SIGGRAPH is a special interest group within ACM that serves as an interdisciplinary community for members in research, technology, and applications in computer graphics and interactive techniques. The SIGGRAPH conference is the world’s leading annual interdisciplinary educational experience showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques. SIGGRAPH 2020, the 47th annual conference hosted by ACM SIGGRAPH, will take place virtually.

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