The Fortnite X John Wick: Wick’s Bounty Trailer is Epic Games’ first use of Unreal Engine 4’s new ray tracing technology in a Fortnite cinematic movie.

The official Unreal Engine account made a Tweet following the release of the cinematic announcing that it uses the ray tracing technology which was added in Unreal Engine version 4.22.

The ray tracing techniques used include shadows, ambient occlusion, reflections, and global illumination. These combined effects bring this beautifully crafted cinematic experience to life to promote the limited time mode in Fortnite celebrating John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.

Ray Tracing

According to NVIDIA, Ray tracing, which has long been used for non-real-time rendering, provides realistic lighting by simulating the physical behavior of light. Ray tracing calculates the color of pixels by tracing the path that light would take if it were to travel from the eye of the viewer through the virtual 3D scene. As it traverses the scene, the light may reflect from one object to another (causing reflections), be blocked by objects (causing shadows), or pass through transparent or semi-transparent objects (causing refractions). All of these interactions are combined to produce the final color of a pixel that then displayed on the screen.

Shadows

A shadow is a dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface.

In the Wick’s Bounty cinematic, shadows are very apparent due to the dark alley being lit by the neon lights in the background of the scene. Small shadows are cast, for example, on John Wick’s face due to the bangs in front of his face. Larger shadows can be seen on the ground, cast by the persons themselves.

Ambient Occlusion

Ambient occlusion is a shading and rendering technique used to calculate how exposed each point in a scene is to ambient lighting.

In the Wick’s Bounty cinematic, the two iterations of John Wick enter the scene from the shadows and into the light. Besides the intent to create an ominous, tension-building scenario; this effect is also used to reveal the new John Wick character. Exposure plays a huge role in getting the desired feeling from in the cinematic.

Reflections

A reflection is the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it.

In the Wick’s Bounty cinematic, reflections play a key role in tieing the scene together. The cinematic takes place in a dark, wet alleyway filled with puddles which create an alluring visual experience for the viewer.

Global Illumination

Global illumination, or indirect illumination, is a general name for a group of algorithms used in 3D computer graphics that are meant to add more realistic lighting to 3D scenes.

Last but certainly not least, global illumination is especially present toward the end of the cinematic as the two John Wick’s meet in a classic red versus blue standoff. The tension between the sides is not only portrayed by the characters, but the environment as well. This effect is perfectly executed thanks to the attractively ray-traced illumination.


Every action has consequences. Take on some of the greatest bounty hunters out there and be the last one standing in the Wick’s Bounty LTM. Play it now!

You can watch the full Fortnite X John Wick: Wick’s Bounty Trailer below.

What are your thoughts on ray tracing technology in Fortnite? We hope one day that NVIDIA’s real-time ray tracing technology can be implemented into the game itself for an even better visual experience.

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