2 comments on “Fun With Ray Tracing

  1. Hmm..this is way above me but it certainly has occupied your time during the day for the last week or so. Could you explain what a ray tracing program is? I’m sure many people know but your wife certainly doesn’t and, watching how you have progressed from a simple line to the picture on your blog, I’d like to know what you are doing.

  2. Good question Jan. Here is what the POV-Ray tutorial says in the section “What is Ray-Tracing?”

    Ray-tracing is a rendering technique that calculates an image of a scene by simulating the way rays of light travel in the real world. However it does its job backwards. In the real world, rays of light are emitted from a light source and illuminate objects. The light reflects off of the objects or passes through transparent objects. This reflected light hits our eyes or perhaps a camera lens. Because the vast majority of rays never hit an observer, it would take forever to trace a scene.

    Ray-tracing programs like POV-Ray start with their simulated camera and trace rays backwards out into the scene. The user specifies the location of the camera, light sources, and objects as well as the surface texture properties of objects, their interiors (if transparent) and any atmospheric media such as fog, haze, or fire.

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