In simple terms, ray tracing is a rendering technique that’s used often in games to simulate the way light rays bounce off of objects. The goal is to create an image that looks more realistic in terms of the shadows, reflections, and other lighting aspects of the visuals.
When was ray tracing first used? It became extremely popular in 2018 with the announcement and release of the Nvidia Turing, a type of GPU microarchitecture that allows graphics cards to really show off the technology that is ray tracing.
Whereas CGI movies and TV shows have long since enjoyed this kind of visual detail, the horsepower needed to render each ray of light produced by each individual source on a computer screen simply didn’t exist. Now, gamers can enjoy the lifelike renderings of light and shadows in more detail.