Ray Tracing


Blessed State
Blessed State, by Ken Musgrave, is one of my favourite ray-traced images.

Luminous Sphereflake
Glowflake, by Dan Farmer, one of the many demo files from POV-Ray 3.0. Based on Eric Haines' Sphereflake.

Unfortunately, neither of the above images are my creations, in case you are wondering. However, this is the logo I created for our parent research organization, the Canadian Networks of Centres of Excellence. Not quite in the same league artistically, but I like it none-the-less. Needless to say, the source file took a lot of mucking with trig stuff, which would have been trivial with POV 3.0.
NCE Logo

An interest that I picked up in my undergrad days when I wrote a ray-tracer of my own, as part of a fourth-year project, ray-tracing has since been a hobby of mine. Although I haven't been spending any time rendering lately, I have worked on some things that I hope will be useful:

If you are just interested in ray-tracing, or would like to generate a few sample images on your computer, but don't want to compile it yourself, executables are available for most systems. These come in two flavours: Official executables for DOS, Mac, Windows, Linux, SunOS, and Amiga, and unofficial executables which are for most UNIX systems, or have been modified by someone not on the POV Team either to improve performance on a specific platform, or to add new features.

You can find lots of utilities to aid in generating ray-traced pictures and animations at the POV-Ray home site. This site also has many great ray-traced pictures, to give you an idea of what can be done with this powerful, yet totally free package. You should also have a look at the POV-Ray CDROM, which is available on-line.

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