UE4 Unreal Studio Engine Ray Tracing with Nvidia Geforce RTX and DX12

Ray Tracing in Unreal UE4

How to activate Real Time Rendering with Unreal Engine (UE4) – DX12 and Ray Tracing with Nvidia and the RTX Technology.

In this comprehensive Video-Tutorial I am going to show you in 5-Steps how to activate Ray Tracing in Epic Games Unreal Engine. Find also a FREE PROJECT FILES FOR DOWNLOAD and check out my latest Ray Tracing Example.

5-Simple Steps to Setup & Test Real Time Ray Tracing for the UE4 Unreal Engine

Ray Tracing Tutorial for UE4 Unreal Engine using Nvidia RTX and DX12
Ray Tracing Tutorial for UE4 Unreal Engine using Nvidia RTX and DX12

GPU Computing gets more and more powerful. With the latest update of the UE4 Unreal Engine it’s finally possible to use GPU Based Real Time Rendering.

My Real Time Ray Tracing Example

Computer Generated Imagery is brought to the next level. In this Video Tutorial I am going through 5 Easy & Simple steps to setup the Unreal Rendering Engine. You can also Download a Free Project File to test your own Computer System with the setup –> see further down below the post.

Ray Tracing Video Tutorial | 5 Steps to Setup Ray Tracing for Unreal

Video Tutorial: UE4 Unreal Engine Setting Up Ray Tracing for Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 and using DX12 and Free Ray Tracing Demo Project for Testing

Real Time Monitoring allows you to check how video game renders perform. In my example, I’ve been using originally a 3ds max studio render setup using offline Render Technology and CUDA Based offline ray tracing.

My 3d scene files are usually setup using Chaosgroup’s Vray Raytracer. A .vrscene file is going to be exported. The Unreal Engine had already Path Tracing integrated. But with the latest release the North Carolina based Company called EPIC GAMES also integrated Real Time Global Illumination.

Real Time Ray Tracing is also a blast when it comes to digital cinematography.

Tracing Games & Real Time Ray Tracing is boosting the quality of the render output. And it’s no question anymore, that Real Time Ray Tracing became one of the Best Tools for 3D Visualizer.

In our Video Tutorial I am going through the process to setup the Ray Tracing Graphics Card. Because Real Time Ray Tracing only works, if your Computer System supports the latest Nvidia RTX Technology.

#1 – Setting up Windows

First comes first. Your operating system has to be up to date. And believe it or not. The Ray Tracing Algorithm only works if you are running at least Windows Version 1809 with the OS Build 17763.348 or higher.

To check your Windows System, type into the Windows search box: winver and hit enter. A Window will pop up and you can check what Windows Version is installed.

How to check your Windows version:  Enter winver into the Windows search box and hit enter
How to check your Windows version: Enter winver into the Windows search box and hit enter

If you figure out, that you are not running at least the latest Microsoft Windows Version 1809 (OS Build 17763.348 or higher, you need to update your Windows Operating System before continuing with anything else.

To do so, type into the Windows Search Box: Windows Update and click the Icon. Windows will prompt you to the following window.

How to check for Windows Updates
How to check for Windows Updates

#2 – Checking DX12 with dxdiag | Graphics Card (GPU) – example Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080

How do you know if your Computer System is running with the DX12 mode? Just type into your Windows Search Box: dxdiag and hit enter

This will open the Direct X Diagnostic Tool. Under the System Tab, scroll down to the end and lookup what specific DirectX Version is installed.

Checking DirectX DX12 with DXDIAG

While the DirectX Diagnostic Tool is still open. Switch to the Display Tab and look up what specific Graphics Card is shown.

DirectX Diagnostic Tool Nvidia GeForce RTX

#3 – Installing Nvidia RTX Graphic Drivers

Now it’s time to install the latest Nvidia RTX Graphic Driver. To do so, go to the Nvida Website https://www.geforce.com/drivers. Make sure you make the right choices when selecting.

How to install Nvidia Drivers for GeForce RTX Card running Unreal UE4 Ray Tracing

#4 – Installing Epic Games Launcher

After all, it’s time to install the Epic Game Launcher. To do so, go the official Epic Unreal Studio download page. This page with the original installer can be currently found under this website: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/studio

Scroll down to the very bottom of the page, and make sure you download the Free Beta of the Unreal Studio Installer.

After download, double click the file and follow the instructions to install the Unreal Engine. Additional Hint: It makes sense to install the Engine to Harddrive or SSD Card with a lot of space available.

UE4 Project files can get very large.

#5 – Launching UE4 Unreal Engine in DX12 Mode

As shown in my Video Tutorial and setting up the Ray Tracing for the Real Time Engine, you need to start the UE4 Editor with the DX12 extension. To do so, create a shortcut from the original installation path. Most likely, after installing the Unreal Editor for Windows, the UE4 Editor Application can be found in the following directory.

D:\Program Files\Epic Games\UE_4.22\Engine\Binaries\Win64\UE4Editor

Select the UE4Editor Application Icon, right mouseclick and Create a Shortcut. Drag and Drop the Shortcut to your Desktop. Select the Shortcut Icon, right mouseclick and select Properties.

UE4 Editor Shortcut Properties: Add -dx12

After adding the -DX12 extension, double click the Shortcut and launch the UE4 Editor with the DX12 mode.

Finally, once the Unreal Project Browser is up and running, chose an existing project or create a new one. Open the Unreal Project Settings, go to the Rendering Section and make sure Ray Tracing is turned on.

Unreal Project Settings and how to activate Ray Tracing

Now you are setup and ready to run your Unreal Engine for real time ray tracing rendering. To make absolutely sure that your system is setup correct and the Nvidia RTX GPU is working – Download my Free Ray Tracing Demo Project File and check right now if the Ray Tracing Program is working as it should.

See the Ray Tracing Example below. That’s how your result should look like.


Ray Tracing Example Free Download Project File

Frequently asked Questions:

Does Unreal Engine use Ray Tracing?

EPIC Games was adding Ray Tracing to it’s latest UE4 Unreal Engie 4.22.

What is Ray Tracing used for?

Ray tracing is a rendering technique to generate photo-realistic computer generated imagery (CGI).

Is RTX real ray tracing?

Yes. RTX Technology supports Real Ray Tracing to generate photo-realistic images and can be used for Global Illumination, Ambient Occlusion, Reflections and Translucency (Refraction).

List of Ray Tracing Video Games

  • Assetto Corsa Competizione
  • Atomic Heart
  • Battlefield 5
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • Control
  • Enlisted
  • MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
  • Metro Exodus
  • Quake II
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Stay in the Light
  • Justice
  • JX3
  • Project DH
  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood
  • Watch Dogs Legion

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