NVIDIA recreates lunar landing with ray tracing for Apollo 11's 50th anniversary

What you need to know

  • NVIDIA created an incredibly accurate rendering of the moon landing using ray tracing.
  • The project has taken five years to complete.
  • Ray tracing allows rendering of light on each pixel of an image in real-time.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, NVIDIA created an incredibly accurate rendering of the moon landing using ray tracing technology. Ray tracing can render lighting on a variety of surfaces in real-time. NVIDIA shares how it completed the project in a recent blog post.

Ray tracing focuses on light and reflection. It allows artists and programmers to accurately depict shadows, light, and reflection in real-time. In the moon landing recreation, you can see light bouncing off several surfaces, including helmets, ladders, and the ground. NVIDIA points out that recreating a scene like this would normally take hours or days without using ray tracing technology. Comparatively, it can be rendered in real time using ray tracing.

NVIDIA created 11 still images and a film recreating the moon landing. They spoke with Buzz Aldrin about the landing and showed him the footage and images. Considering that Aldrin is one of the only humans to ever land on the moon, he is uniquely qualified to judge the realism of NVIDIA's renders.

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Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.