What is Ray Tracing?

Since the early days of 3D, traditional rendering has been performed using rasterisation with objects built up using a mesh of triangles and are then ‘shaded’ to create their on-screen look. Ray tracing is different. It mimics how light works in the real world, where photons are emitted from a light source and bounce around the scene until they reach the eye of the viewer. As the light interacts with objects it is blocked, reflected, or refracted by the objects along the way, depending on their material properties, creating shadows and altering each object looks.