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Ray Tracer

Definition

Ray tracing is a technique for generating semi-realistic images by tracing the path of rays of light, as they are reflected, refracted, coloured and absorbed by the objects being rendered.

Background

I studied ray tracing at the University of Technology, Sydney, in the Autumn Semester of 2004, under a lecturer named Dr Kevin Suffern. I found the topic fascinating and was amazed by the results that could be produced from such a simple (yet large) set of code. I chose to implement my ray tracer using C#, which traded fast development times for slower execution times.

Examples

These are some images produced by the ray tracer I wrote at university.

Dance

Instancing, affine transformations, crude soft shadows, and reflections.

Earth

Transparency, texture mapping, and selection between multiple materials.

Torii

Complex ray-object intersections and transparency.

Spheres

Reflections and phong shading.