OpenGL - Will it ever have RTX Raytracing support?


I have a engine in progress, using OpenGL, and would ideally like to add support for rtx raytracing at some point. Do you think this will be possible with gl, or would I be better off switching to vulkan?


Only Nvidia can say for certain what the future of their OpenGL drivers holds. All we can talk about with certainty is the past and present.

As of 4 weeks ago, the answer from NVidia to the question of how to get at GPU ray tracing from an OpenGL app was…: Do your ray tracing in Vulkan, and then use Vulkan/GL interop to interact with that code from your GL app. The “OpenGL” quiz question at the SIGGRAPH 2019 Khronos BOF was actually spent on this, believe it or not, and the prize was a GPU Ray Tracing book (a capability which requires Vulkan or DXR to get at).


Here, Piers Daniell (NVidia) does not say that GPU ray tracing support will never come to OpenGL, but he doesn’t say that it will either.

That said, given that:


…there’s no indication (at least that I’ve seen) that GL ray tracing support is coming soon if ever. That guess could be wrong. In fact, I’d be happy if it were.


In contrast, NVidia released GL support for Turing Mesh Shaders (supported by those same, new RTX GPUs) back when the RTX GPUs were first released last year.

Now it’s your turn to guess the future. :wink:

Ok thank you for your advice.

I’m interested in the thought of using vulkan in the moment to handle that side. But for the moment, I’ve decided to write a back-end using dx12 for those new features.


But Vulkan runs on everywhere that D3D12 runs and more. Why bother with that as a backend?

Yeah I’ll be doing a vulkan back-end too.