August 13, 2018

Porsche, NVIDIA, and Epic Games reveal ‘The Speed of Light’ for Porsche 911 Speedster concept

By Dana Cowley

In a breakthrough demonstration today at the SIGGRAPH conference, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang revealed "The Speed of Light," a real-time cinematic experience utilizing NVIDIA Turing architecture, RTX technology and new Unreal Engine rendering advancements, featuring the Porsche 911 Speedster Concept. The forward-looking technology unveiled onstage is the culmination of a joint development effort to unlock offline-quality ray-traced rendering in a game engine. 

"The Porsche 911 Speedster Concept is the first car to be visualized with interactive real-time ray tracing," said Francois Antoine, Director of HMI at Epic Games, and creative director and VFX supervisor on the project. "In concert with NVIDIA we’re accelerating the adoption of real-time ray tracing across many industries.” 
“NVIDIA RTX technology is purpose-built to provide a generational leap in the quality of real-time computer graphics, and ‘The Speed of Light’ perfectly demonstrates that we are delivering on our promises,” said Tony Tamasi, SVP of Content and Technology at NVIDIA. “With Unreal Engine it’s possible to create physically accurate, realistic scenes that feature a level of fidelity and detail we’ve previously only been able to imagine.”

"Porsche's collaboration with Epic and NVIDIA has exceeded all expectations from both a creative and technological perspective," said Christian Braun, Manager of Virtual Design at Porsche. "The achieved results are proof that real-time technology is revolutionizing how we design and market our vehicles."
Porsche is known for experimenting with the most advanced design techniques, and Braun has always envisioned a pipeline featuring a single toolset at its core. The enabling of real-time ray tracing with ray-traced diffuse global illumination in Unreal Engine has made it possible for Porsche to visualize this latest concept car, which will be made available to consumers. The experimental real-time ray tracing features used to create “The Speed of Light” will be built into a future Unreal Engine 4 release to benefit the entire development community. Editor's note: these features released with Unreal Engine 4.22 in April 2019.
“When you see the quality of the cinematic, it’s remarkable to note that no baking or lightmaps were required. There is no precomputed lighting—it’s all fully dynamic for both objects and light,” said Antoine. “When we’re designing cars, we have to explore every option from every angle, and having the ability to review fully visualized renders in real time has completely transformed the way we ideate.”
Bringing dynamic global illumination and ray-traced lighting to Unreal Engine is a critical development for users who work with very large datasets, and the advancements will benefit creators in game development, filmmaking, architecture, design, manufacturing, AR/VR and simulation. 

“The Speed of Light” demo debuted running on two NVIDIA Quadro RTX cards. New Unreal Engine features demonstrated include: 

·      Ray-traced translucency
·      Ray-traced rectangular area light shadows
·      Ray-traced reflections
·      Ray-traced diffuse global illumination
·      Dynamic textured area lights

“With Turing architecture NVIDIA have shattered the photorealism barrier that current-generation rasterizing techniques have presented until now,” said Kim Libreri, CTO, Epic Games. “Just as we saw with the movie business over a decade ago, ray tracing is going to revolutionize the realism of real-time applications, cinematic experiences, and high-end games. Now, we will see artists and designers using Unreal Engine technology to create, view, and interact with content that is indistinguishable from reality.”