Monthly Archives: April 2019

Under the hood of Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Foreword

After my previous articles I started looking for another game to dive into and I ran into the demo version of Shadows of the Tomb Raider. I thought the rendering of this game is probably already really interesting but with the recent patch to enable raytraced shadows it made it an even better target. The PC port is made by Nixxes and they worked together with Nvidia to add this feature to the game. If you want to learn more about how they did it check out their GDC presentation from a few weeks ago.

Since I wanted to check the acceleration structures I again used PIX and NSight to look under the hood. This was quite fortunate because the game uses the D3D12 debug naming API for almost all resources so the resources show up with human readable names in PIX. This allowed me to make more assumptions about what is happening, which turned out essential because there are plenty of non-obvious steps that might be impossible to understand without this little bit of additional information.

So I started the demo, cranked all settings to the maximum and started capturing.

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