Chaos Group has given the world its first look at Project Lavina, a groundbreaking new technology for real-time ray tracing. Using the dedicated RT Core within NVIDIA’s Turing-based Quadro RTX GPUs, the project promises to fundamentally change the direction of computer graphics by introducing a new level of visual quality for real-time games, VR, and 3D visualization.
Named after the Bulgarian word for “avalanche,” Project Lavina debuted as a SIGGRAPH tech demo, depicting a massive 3D forest and several architectural visualizations running at 24-30 frames per second in standard HD resolution. Rather than using game engine shortcuts like rasterized graphics or a reduced level of detail, each scene features live ray tracing, creating truly interactive photorealism.
“We’ve been developing ray tracing technology for 20 years, and this is one of the biggest breakthroughs we’ve ever made,” says Vlado Koylazov, co-founder and CTO of Chaos Group. “Real-time and ray tracing coming together is the beginning of something big.”
Bob Pette, vice president of professional graphics for NVIDIA says: “We are thrilled to see how well Project Lavina takes advantage of the RTX stack debuting on our new Quadro RTX line. True real-time ray tracing is our goal, and it’s great to see a market leader like Chaos Group achieve it with us.”
The SIGGRAPH tech demo uses 3D scenes exported from V-Ray-enabled applications directly in Lavina. Unlike a traditional game engine, which would require assets to be rebuilt and specially optimized, Lavina allows for direct compatibility and translation of V-Ray assets. Upon loading a scene, the user can explore the environment exactly as they would in a game engine, experiencing physically accurate lighting, reflections and global illumination.
Seeing a growing demand for real-time applications, Chaos Group has developed a way to tie ray tracing to both kinds of workflows, attempting to up the fidelity of this emerging medium. They promise that soon, users will be able to apply the most realistic style of rendering to every type of interactive project, including 3D configurators, virtual productions and VR, using whichever toolset they like best.
“This breakthrough was made possible by partnering with NVIDIA, whose Quadro RTX GPUs helped unlock the next level of real-time experiences,” closes Peter Mitev, CEO of Chaos Group. “From here, Project Lavina’s mission will be to focus on pushing the quality and speed of real-time ray tracing.”