Unreal Engine 5 Caustics

Caustics
Mohamed Fawzy

Written by Mohamed Fawzy

Mohamed is the founder of SALAMA PRODUCTIONS ©, an indie game developer and writer. He has a passion for creating episodic cinematic games that combine stunning graphics and captivating stories. His vision is to showcase the beauty and mystery of nature and reality. He believes that games are a powerful medium for expressing ideas, emotions, and messages that can inspire and entertain people around the world.

March 1, 2023


Unreal Engine 5 NvRTX Caustics Branch Released

Thanks to Epic Games and Nvidia, Unreal Engine 5 have now an NvRTX Caustics branch. the Branch appeared and became available to public on 8 Feb 2023.

NVIDIA has released a new branch of Unreal Engine 5 that includes support for ray-traced caustics. This new feature allows developers to create more realistic and immersive lighting effects in their games.

Caustics are the patterns of light that are created when light rays are refracted or reflected off of surfaces. They can be seen in many real-world situations, such as the light patterns that are created by sunlight shining through a window or the ripples of light that are created by a fish swimming in a tank.

In the past, caustics were difficult to render in real time. However, with the advent of ray tracing, it is now possible to create these effects in real time with high accuracy.

The NvRTX Caustics branch for UE5 uses NVIDIA’s RTX technology to accelerate the rendering of ray-traced caustics. This allows developers to create these effects without sacrificing performance.

The NvRTX Caustics branch is currently available for early access. To download it, you can visit the NVIDIA developer website.

Unreal Engine 5 Caustics

How to Render Realistic Water Caustics in UE5

One of the most impressive features of the NvRTX caustics branch is the ability to render realistic water caustics in real time. Water caustics are the patterns of light that are created when light passes through a water surface and is refracted by the waves and ripples. Water caustics can add a lot of realism and immersion to scenes that involve water, such as oceans, lakes, rivers, pools, fountains, etc. However, water caustics are also very challenging to simulate in real time, as they require a lot of computation and memory bandwidth.

The NvRTX caustics branch uses a novel technique that combines ray tracing and rasterization to achieve high-quality water caustics at playable frame rates. The technique involves tracing rays from the light source to the water surface, then using a screen-space shader to compute the refraction angle and intensity of the light based on the water normal map and depth buffer. The result is a realistic and dynamic water caustics effect that can be applied to any water material in Unreal Engine 5. You can see some examples of water caustics in action in this video.


For more info about Unreal Engine NvRTX Branches.

https://developer.nvidia.com/game-engines/unreal-engine/rtx-branch

This is the link of the branch.

https://github.com/NvRTX/UnrealEngine/tree/NvRTX_Caustics-5.1

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