Something to look forward to: Recent mods and official re-releases show that the latest ray tracing technology can fundamentally change the look of PC games decades ago. Nvidia’s upcoming RTX Remix promises to help mods bring the technology into several classics, starting with a remastered version of Portal this fall.
Tuesday, Nvidia a statement RTX Remix, is a platform to help modders add ray tracing features to DirectX 8 and DirectX 9 games. The feature will also allow users to improve the architecture of older games and add Nvidia Reflex and DLSS 3 (or DLSS 2.0 for Ampere and Turing GPU users).
The RTX Remix mod will replace the original API of the game with a 64-bit Vulkan viewer. Mods can export their RTX Remix mods to files that drop into the game directory along with the executable, and should not conflict with those on Nexus Mods or other sites.
In DX8 or DX9 games that support fixed-function graphics pipelines, RTX Remix uses a custom D3D9 runtime to intercept swipe calls and reinterpret game assets to convert them to the Global Scene Description Framework (US$). The converted assets are compatible with many standard game development applications such as Adobe Substance 3D Painter, Autodesk Maya, 3ds Max, Blender, SideFX Houdini and Unreal Engine, making it easy to edit on modifiers.
Proper ray tracing support requires that game textures and textures carry certain qualities that DX8 era titles generally lack. Remix allows users to add features such as physical renderings, regular maps, and increased geometric details, so they interact with light more realistically. Moderators can also use the AI features of RTX Remix to increase texture accuracy by 4x.
The Nvidia platform also allows designers to add new lighting to older games or use the game’s original lights to add ray-tracing shadows, ambient closures, reflections, and global lighting. In addition, the RTX Remix includes three new lighting features that Nvidia revealed this week.
The first, RTX Direct Illumination (RTXDI), can add millions of small dynamic lights for things like fireballs, lamps, or billboards to a scene without significantly impacting performance. Another new feature – Spatial Significance Temporary Resampling Global Illumination (ReSTIRGI) – uses multiple bounces to calculate the correct indirect illumination for each pixel. Finally, Nvidia’s Denoisers (NRD) should reduce noise in ray-traced lighting with better performance than previous noise removal devices.
To prove RTX remix, valve open Portal RTX – A modified version of the 2007 puzzle game with ray tracing. Portal RTX adds reconstructed textures, high polygon character models, DLSS, and Nvidia Reflex. Its ray-tracing features include RTXDI, ReSTIRGI, NRD, ray-traced volumetric illumination, and particle-ray-emitting rays.
Portal RTX is released in November as a free upgrade for those who own the original title. Nvidia also showed off the effects of the RTX Remix on The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and Mount & Blade.