Iconic Moon Landing Recreated with NVIDIA’s Turing RTX Real-Time Ray Tracing Technology
If you can remember, NVIDIA recreated the moon landing using Maxwell and VXGI technology four years ago. They used the Maxwell GPUs back then to debunk the myth that the Apollo 11 moon landing was a hoax. Well, according to NVIDIA it was quite hard or very difficult to fake a moon landing. The technology was just not available to make a realistic moon landing; and that they will need the world’s most advanced GPUs to pull it off. With the release of NVIDIA’s new Turing-based graphics cards, the company has refreshed their demo of the iconic moon landing. This time with real-time ray tracing technology, making it more realistic than ever. Check it out the video of the moon landing with real-time ray tracing below.
You may also want to check out our GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition review and GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition review.
NVIDIA recreated Moon Landing with Turing RTX GPUs
NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang recently demonstrated the capabilities of the new NVIDIA RTX GPUs at GTC Europe in Munich last Wednesday. He showed how NVIDIA’s team digitally rebuild the photos of Buzz Aldrin’s lunar landing; this time with real-time ray tracing technology.
According to Jensen Huang: “This is the benefit of NVIDIA RTX”, “Using this type of rendering technology, we can simulate light physics and things are going to look the way things should look.”
NVIDIA’s Turing architecture allowed the company’s demo team to do this because it’s able to trace the path of a beam of light back from the screen — or frustum, as computer scientists call it — and bounce around a scene to render reflections, shadows, ambient occlusion, global illumination and other visual phenomena in an instant. Prior to RTX technology, only special effects rendering farms working for weeks or months on a single scene could manage this.
The demo team built on work they did four years ago, when they collected every detail they could to understand the iconic image. They researched the rivets on the lunar lander, identified the properties of the dust coating the moon’s surface, and measured the reflectivity of the material used in the astronauts’ space suits.
To update the original demo, NVIDIA engineers rebuilt the scene of the moon landing in Unreal Engine 4, a game engine developed by Epic Games. They simulated how the sun’s rays, coming from behind the lander, bounced off the moon’s surface and Armstrong’s suit, to cast light on Aldrin as he stepped off the lander.
All of this only heightened the fidelity of our latest demo — and re-confirmed what we’d discovered four years ago. That the illumination of the astronaut in the photo wasn’t caused by something other than the sun — such as studio lights — but by light doing what light does.
Which proves one of two things. Either the Apollo 11 landing is real. Or NASA figured going to the moon was too hard, built a time machine instead, and sent someone 50 years into the future to grab an NVIDIA RTX GPU.