A software development kit for achieving high performance ray tracing on the GPU.

Image courtesy Tom Grammerstorf

The OptiX API is an application framework for achieving optimal ray tracing performance on the GPU. It provides a simple, recursive, and flexible pipeline for accelerating ray tracing algorithms. Bring the power of NVIDIA GPUs to your ray tracing applications with programmable intersection, ray generation, and shading.

From film and games to design and scientific visualization, OptiX has been successfully deployed in a broad range of commercial applications. These applications range from rendering software to scientific visualization (including Gordon Bell Award finalists), defense applications, audio synthesis, and computing lightmaps for games.

Key Features

  • Programmable GPU-accelerated Ray-Tracing Pipeline
  • Single-ray shader programming model using C++
  • Optimized for current and future generations of NVIDIA GPU architectures
  • Transparently scales across multiple GPUs
  • Automatically combines GPU memory over NVLink for large scenes
  • AI Accelerated rendering using Tensor Cores
  • Ray Tracing acceleration using RT Cores
  • Free for Commercial-Use
Operating System Windows and Linux
(see release notes for specific version)

NVIDIA GeForce, Quadro and Tesla products with Maxwell and newer generation GPUs.

Recent NVIDIA Display Driver

Development Environment C/C++ Compiler and Recent CUDA Toolkit

AI-Accelerated Denoiser

NVIDIA rendering partners can add AI-accelerated denoising to their renderers using the SDK.

Learn more about the AI-Accelerated Denoiser

Partners (Click logos to learn more)

Pixar’s Flow Material Editing Tool

Pixar Animation Studio's new material editing tool "Flow" enables their artists to interactively edit rich, complex shading networks. Flow provides live real-time feedback with full, multi-bounce progressive ray tracing using OptiX.

Pixar Flow material editing tool. Image courtesy of Pixar Animation Studios

Watch SIGGRAPH talk on OptiX integration in Flow >

Visual Molecular Dynamics (VMD)

Visual Molecular Dynamics (VMD) is a molecular visualization program for displaying, animating, and analyzing large biomolecular systems using 3-D graphics and built-in scripting. VMD’s preferred rendering mode for both viewport and final render is OptiX, with full VCA support available. The OptiX path renders the highest visual quality and even has a frame rate five times higher than OpenGL on massive datasets.

Learn more about VMD >


NVIDIA Iray employs OptiX technology for optimal performance in both its path tracing and ray tracing render modes. Iray is a state of the art, yet easy to use, photorealistic rendering solution provided as an SDK for seamless integration into custom tools and within industry-leading products from the likes of Dassault Systemes and Siemens PLM.

Learn more about Iray >


SOLIDWORKS® Visualization products (formerly known as Bunkspeed) provide a suite of standalone software tools that combine industry-leading rendering capabilities with design-oriented features and workflows that enable easy and fast creation of visual content for designers, engineers, marketing, and other content creators. Import SOLIDWORKS, Autodesk Alias®, Rhino®, SketchUp® and many other CAD formats to create compelling scenes and ultimately the most realistic content possible.

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS Visulaize >

Blog: Introducing the New Artificial Intelligence Denoiser
Blog: From Great Idea to Amazing Product: SOLIDWORKS and NVIDIA Power AI, VR and Virtualized Workflows


OPTIS, the virtual prototyping company, brings life and emotion to all industrial projects. Its world-leading solutions pave the way for a revolutionary design process: towards zero physical prototypes. Since 1989, OPTIS offers its know-how in light and human vision simulation into leading CAD/CAM software and dedicated immersive virtual solutions. This synergy creates true-to-life virtual mockups which are used as real decision-making tools. Today, more than 2,500 clients in over 50 countries already trust OPTIS and innovate day after day with its solutions to ensure the look and safety of their designs, reduce their ecological footprint and bring their future products faster on the market.

“We use powerful NVIDIA GPU technologies, like the new Quadro GV100 to accelerate our simulation applications and algorithms, and NVIDIA OptiX for fast AI-based rendering. Looking ahead, we’re excited about the potential NVIDIA RTX ray-tracing technology holds to deliver more lifelike images faster than ever,” said Jacques Delacour, CEO and founder of OPTIS.

Learn more about SPEOS (Bright Light and Appearance Simulation) >

Learn more about Theia RT (Real-time Color and Material Evaluation) >

Learn more about Optis >


ESI Group is a leading innovator in Virtual Prototyping software and services. ESI | IC.IDO provides a Human Centric digital mock-up environment that enables individual engineers as well as teams to explore, experience, validate, and collaborate to resolve complex integration scenarios at the intersection between product function, human interaction and assembly/service requirements.

“We adopted OptiX for ray tracing in IC.IDO. It was incredibly easy to integrate and offers amazing speed and performance with NVIDIA GPUs, this frees our engineering team to focus their time and talents on developing new features for our Virtual Engineering enterprise customers. Offering a unified visualization and physical simulation experience in VR gives users the ability to interact with their products and processes in ways previously only possible with full scale physical prototypes.”

Dr. Christian Odaker, Director of R&D, Immersive Experience at ESI Group

Learn more about IC.IDO

Thea Render

Thea Render is a physically-based global illumination renderer of high quality. It is a unique renderer that is able to render using state-of-the-art techniques in biased photorealistic, unbiased and GPU modes. Thea Render comes with its own standalone application (Studio) with various tools, material editor and advanced staging operations along with integration (plugins) on various popular modeling solutions.

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Altair® Thea Render® v2.0 integrates NVIDIA® OptiX™ denoiser, dramatically accelerating production of final renders. Users can take advantage of this optimized workflow, creating out-of-the-box, stunning photorealistic images in a fraction of previous render times.

Dr. Ing. Ioannis Pantazopoulos, VP Rendering Technology, Altair
Learn more about Thea Render >

Autodesk Arnold

Arnold is an advanced Monte Carlo ray tracing renderer. It is designed for artists and built for the demands of modern animation and visual effects production. It is available as a standalone renderer on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, with plug-ins for Maya, 3ds Max, Houdini, Cinema 4D, and Katana. With an integrated OptiX denoiser, Arnold takes advantage of NVIDIA AI tech for accelerated interactive rendering.

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The OptiX Denoiser is an invaluable option for interactive workflows in Arnold. The artist can create and move around geometry and lights and get immediate noise-free visual feedback, even for challenging rendering scenarios.

Frederic Servant, Arnold Development Manager, Autodesk
Learn more about Arnold

cebas finalRender

cebas Visual Technology, founded in Heidelberg, Germany and headquartered in Victoria, BC Canada, has been developing 3dsMax plugins for visual technology since 1988. Following the launch of our latest finalRender trueHybrid™, cebas' mission as always, is dedicated to getting the most sophisticated renderer into the hands of the artists affordably by incorporating latest NVIDIA GPU technology combined with cebas CPU enhancements, to achieve a powerful as well as an unique mix of processing power. Our new finalRender's latest addition is the NVIDIA's OptiX 5.0 AI Denoiser feature. Users can expect ongoing innovative updates as finalRender progresses.

This image shows the OptiX AI-Denoiser running in finalRender at 100 samples after only 45 seconds of rendering.

Our very first integration tests revealed right from the start that NVIDIA has created an exceptional piece of software engineering by combining the power of AI and their powerful GPU hardware to surmount what has bothered every single GPU software developer for years - Noise in the image. The use of AI Neuronal Network technology in OptiX 5.0 to enhance the process of denoising and cebas' engineering work on finalRender's trueHybrid™ technology offers a bright future towards higher quality photo-realistic images in much lesser time.

Edwin Braun, CEO & Co-founder, cebas Visual Technology
Learn more about finalRender >

Chaos Group Vray

Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics. They create the technology that helps artists and designers create photoreal imagery and animation for design, television, and feature films. Their physically-based rendering and simulation software is used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies, and visual effects companies around the globe. Their research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning, and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design.

We’re finding the NVIDIA denoising results to be very impressive on interactive scenes, giving artists a much quicker estimate of what their final result will look like. We believe this will speed the creative process while using our upcoming V-Ray GPU.

Vlado Koylazov, founder, Chaos Group
Learn more about Vray >

Isotropix Clarisse

Founded by animation industry veterans, Isotropix™ is a start-up specialized in developing high-end professional graphics software and aims at providing CG artists game-changing innovations.

Thanks to its AI-driven denoising capability, OptiX 5.0 accelerates the Clarisse path tracer up to eight times! Combined with TITAN V, it will be a game changer for artists as they can make instant creative decisions on images that are very close to final renders — all from their PC.

Sam Assadian, CEO and co-founder, Isotropix

It was staggering to witness OptiX 5.0’s ability to create clean images that are genuinely representative of the final frame. As Clarisse continues to refine the render, the denoiser converges on the final clean result in a smooth, deterministic way, meaning that artists are able to make detailed artistic lighting decisions considerably faster than they could before.

Graham Jack, chief technology officer, Double Negative
Learn more about Clarisse >


Redshift Rendering Technologies Inc was founded in early 2012 in Newport Beach, California with the goal of developing a production-quality, GPU-accelerated renderer with support for the biased global illumination techniques that until now have remained squarely in the CPU-only domain.

With OptiX 5.0, NVIDIA continues to lead the way for the use of AI in rendering for design, character generation and the creation of virtual worlds. Integration of OptiX 5.0 was a no-brainer for us — being both easy and free, it turbocharges the creative process and improves productivity for our users.

Panos Zompolas, chief technology officer and co-founder, Redshift
Learn more about Redshift >

Developer Forums

Our forum community is where Developers can ask questions, share experiences and participate in discussions with NVIDIA and other experts in the field.

Check out available forums here.


OptiX Advanced Samples

This is a set of basic to advanced samples for the NVIDIA OptiX Ray Tracing Engine. This set includes introduction samples that go along with the video presented to the left.

Get Advanced Samples

Get more samples here.

For business critical matters contact: OptiX-Help@nvidia.com