Portal with RTX: remastering adds raytracing to classic Valve gameplay

NVIDIA kicked off its GTC conference, where it announced the highly anticipated RTX 4000 series of video cards. While the GeForce RTX 4090 and 4080 were the highlight of the presentation, the company took the time to unveil a number of other novelties, including the following Portal with RTX. The manufacturer showed a remastered version of Valve’s game with raytracing support developed by an internal studio.

According to NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang, Portal with RTX is a take on the 2007 classic that’s both nostalgic and futuristic. The game includes support for ray tracing and DLSS 3.0 scaling driven by artificial intelligence. The artwork is the work of Lightspeed Studios, a studio founded in 2019 to remaster classics by adding raytracing and porting other games to NVIDIA’s Shield.

A short teaser of only one minute shows the radical change of Portal when using this technology. The effects are noticeable on surfaces and lighting, as well as on portals. The company’s old cube comes to life thanks to RTX, along with some areas in the low-light levels where the portals contrast.

Valve’s classic received a similar treatment to what we’ve seen in other games such as. Quake II RTX y Minecraft taking advantage of the new features of the GeForce RTX. Perhaps most interesting is that this is not a new game, but rather a modification made with Omniverse.

RTX Remix, the tool that will remaster classic games such as Portal

Portal with RTX is the first fruit of RTX Remix, a tool that uses artificial intelligence to improve games and add ray tracing. To do this, we just have to play the game and capture our session, in the same way as when we do streaming or gameplay videos. The software records multiple game elements and saves them in .USD files, a format created by Pixar that stores information such as geometry, shading data, and more.

RTX Remix can capture textures, geometry, lighting and cameras through an innovative custom D3D9 runtime called RTX Remix Runtime. Classic games such as Morrowind use D3D9 to send rendering instructions to the GPU. The RTX Remix Runtime intercepts them, interprets them into separate assets, and reassembles those assets into an identical scene. From there, RTX Remix converts the assets and scene into the widely adopted open Universal Scene Description (USD) format, which forms the basis of the NVIDIA Omniverse platform for creating and operating custom 3D pipelines.

1664087309 158 Portal with RTX remastering adds raytracing to classic Valve gameplay
1664087309 884 Portal with RTX remastering adds raytracing to classic Valve gameplay

Huang showed RTX Remix in action with it. The Elder Scrolls: Morrowindwhere the system uses deep learning to scale textures and 3D models. Once the information is captured, the tool uses its artificial intelligence models to improve and add properties to each of the elements in the scene. Files can be sent to other applications, such as Maya, Blender, Substance 3D, or Unreal Engine, for enhancement.

Portal with RTX is a different remaster than they did with Quake II RTX. According to NVIDIA, the id Software shooter brought in a team of engineers and artists to adapt the original source code. While it was possible to access Quake II but applying this methodology to other classic games is not possible due to resource and core file access issues.

RTX Remix will be available by the end of the year and can be downloaded for free. Creating mods will require a GeForce RTX card, while running them will require any hardware capable of running raytracing with Vulkan. For its part, RTX portal coming in November as free DLC for those who own the original game.

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Portal with RTX: remastering adds raytracing to classic Valve gameplay

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