The second installment of Nvidia’s Ray Tracing Gems series is now available and is available for free reading. Like the first book, released in 2019, Ray Tracing Gems II hopes to provide game developers with the knowledge and tools they need to get ray tracking within their next game. But it’s also pretty good if you’re just getting started or want to learn more about cutting-edge computer graphics.
I say this as someone who owns a physical version of Ray Tracing Gems' first book and, to my great shame, has only read one chapter of it. It was a good chapter, however, that explained the origins of ray tracing, which many assume is a new rendering technology, but is actually quite old in terms of graphics technologies. I intend to read more, I promise.
The second installment is written by Adam Marrs, Peter Shirley and Ingo Wald of Nvidia, and covers ray tracing techniques, many of which; an overview of the Vulkan ray layout, which Nvidia helped create; and a section called "Ray tracing in the wild," which describes examples and testimonials of games and game developers who have already implemented it. The games covered are Control, Quake 2 and Fortnite.
And this is free to read, if you wish. It is available at Springer, as an open access book under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). There is also one hardcover version on Amazon, although you may have to wait until the end of this month for your physical copy to be submitted.
So, if you’re interested in how ray tracing works, maybe this book might enlighten you. The first issue, too, in this regard. Both books sink quickly when it comes to programming, graphical APIs, and the language surrounding game development, but so be prepared for this onslaught if you’re curious to check it out.