Ray Tracing Gems

edited by Eric Haines and Tomas Akenine-Möller, from Apress.


This book is a collection of articles focused on ray tracing techniques for serious practitioners. Like other "gems" books, it discusses areas too advanced for introductory texts, yet not addressed by research papers.

The electronic version of this books is free to download, and can be shared under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. We link to two versions:

A hardcover version of the book is swiftly being published in time for GDC and GTC in mid-March, and should be for sale at these two conferences' bookstores in limited quantities. It will likely not be available for online purchase until May.

RTG at GDC: book signing by authors and editors outside room 205 South Hall on Wednesday 4-5 PM (note that you will have to buy a copy elsewhere, at the GDC bookseller two floors down, whose booth is not large enough to fit all signers), talk by Eric about the book follows, inside room 205 South Hall on Wednesday 5-6 PM. Related talks by authors: Introduction to DirectX Raytracing (more info), Ray Tracing in Unreal Engine 4.22, and Graphics Reinvented: RTX Update.

RTG at GTC: talk by Eric about the book at room 230B (Concourse Level) on Thursday 2-3 PM, book signing by authors and editors follows at the GTC book seller area on Thursday 3-4 PM. Related talks by authors: Interactive High-Fidelity Biomolecular and Cellular Visualization with RTX Ray Tracing APIs

To order the hardback edition you can visit Apress or Amazon. This higher-quality hardback is expected to be available in mid-May.

An official code repository and errata listing will appear soon at Apress's site. For now, here is an errata page, currently ugly but soon to be in a repo.

This book is a collection of articles about the practical aspects of ray tracing. It is not focused on the basics, as there are many wonderful books on ray tracing, including a few that are free. We have also collected together some ray tracing resources.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Foreword by Turner Whitted and Martin Stich
  • Contributors
  • Notation

  • PART 1: RAY TRACING BASICS, editor: Chris Wyman
    • 1. Ray Tracing Terminology, by Eric Haines and Peter Shirley
    • 2. What is a Ray? by Peter Shirley, Ingo Wald, Tomas Akenine-Möller, and Eric Haines
    • 3. Introduction to DirectX Raytracing, by Chris Wyman and Adam Marrs
    • 4. A Planetarium Dome Master Camera, by John E. Stone
    • 5. Computing Minima and Maxima of Subarrays, by Ingo Wald

    • 6. A Fast and Robust Method for Avoiding Self-Intersection, by Carsten Wächter and Nikolaus Binder
    • 7. Precision Improvements for Ray/Sphere Intersection, by Eric Haines, Johannes Günther, and Tomas Akenine-Möller
    • 8. Cool Patches: A Geometric Approach to Ray/Bilinear Patch Intersections, by Alexander Reshetov
    • 9. Multi-Hit Ray Tracing in DXR, by Christiaan Gribble
    • 10. A Simple Load-Balancing Scheme with High Scaling Efficiency, by Dietger van Antwerpen, Daniel Seibert, and Alexander Keller

    • 11. Automatic Handling of Materials in Nested Volumes, by Carsten Wächter and Matthias Raab
    • 12. A Microfacet-Based Shadowing Function to Solve the Bump Terminator Problem, by Alejandro Conty Estevez, Pascal Lecocq, and Clifford Stein
    • 13. Ray Traced Shadows: Maintaining Real-Time Frame Rates, by Jakub Boksansky, Michael Wimmer, and Jiri Bittner
    • 14. Ray-Guided Volumetric Water Caustics in Single Scattering Media with DXR, by Holger Gruen

  • PART 4: SAMPLING, editor: Alexander Keller
    • 15. On the Importance of Sampling, by Matt Pharr
    • 16. Sample Transformations Zoo, by Peter Shirley, Samuli Laine, David Hart, Matt Pharr, Petrik Clarberg, Eric Haines, Matthias Raab, and David Cline
    • 17. Ignoring the Inconvenient When Tracing Rays, by Matt Pharr
    • 18. Importance Sampling of Many Lights on the GPU, by Pierre Moreau and Petrik Clarberg

  • PART 5: DENOISING AND FILTERING, editor: Jacob Munkberg
    • 19. Cinematic Rendering in UE4 with Real-Time Ray Tracing and Denoising, by Edward Liu, Ignacio Llamas, Juan Cañada, and Patrick Kelly
    • 20. Texture Level of Detail Strategies for Real-Time Ray Tracing, by Tomas Akenine-Möller, Jim Nilsson, Magnus Andersson, Colin Barré-Brisebois, Robert Toth, and Tero Karras
    • 21. Simple Environment Map Filtering Using Ray Cones and Ray Differentials, by Tomas Akenine-Möller and Jim Nilsson
    • 22. Improving Temporal Antialiasing with Adaptive Ray Tracing, by Adam Marrs, Josef Spjut, Holger Gruen, Rahul Sathe, and Morgan McGuire

    • 23. Interactive Light Map and Irradiance Volume Preview in Frostbite, by Diede Apers, Petter Edblom, Charles de Rousiers, and Sébastien Hillaire
    • 24. Real-Time Global Illumination with Photon Mapping, by Niklas Smal and Maksim Aizenshtein
    • 25. Hybrid Rendering for Real-Time Ray Tracing, by Colin Barré-Brisebois, Henrik Halén, Graham Wihlidal, Andrew Lauritzen, Jasper Bekkers, Tomasz Stachowiak, and Johan Andersson
    • 26. Deferred Hybrid Path Tracing, by Thomas Schander, Clemens Musterle, and Stephan Bergmann
    • 27. Interactive Ray Tracing Techniques for High-Fidelity Scientific Visualization, by John E. Stone

  • PART 7: GLOBAL ILLUMINATION, editor: Matt Pharr
    • 28. Ray Tracing Inhomogeneous Volumes, by Matthias Raab
    • 29. Efficient Particle Volume Splatting in a Ray Tracer, by Aaron Knoll, R. Keith Morley, Ingo Wald, Nick Leaf, and Peter Messmer
    • 30. Caustics Using Screen Space Photon Mapping, by Hyuk Kim
    • 31. Variance Reduction via Footprint Estimation in the Presence of Path Reuse, by Johannes Jendersie
    • 32. Accurate Real-Time Specular Reflections with Radiance Caching, by Antti Hirvonen, Atte Seppälä, Maksim Aizenshtein, and Niklas Smal


Bibtex entry:

  title = {Ray Tracing Gems},
  editor = {Eric Haines and Tomas Akenine-M\"oller},
  publisher = {Apress},
  year = {2019},
  note ={\url{http://raytracinggems.com}},

Image on left from NVIDIA Game Dev by Alexia Rubod.

Page last updated March 10, 2019