Submitted by , posted on 02 October 2004

Image Description, by

Inspired and impressed by the IOTD of Joost's raytracer, I started to write my own (and first) raytracer. As information source I used mainly the almighty Real-Time Rendering book, some intuition and a lot of luck. It resulted in a classical raytracer, with the usual features:
  • planes, spheres and (textured) meshes as primitives
  • point lights, directional lights and global illumination (monte carlo)
  • support for (HDR) radiance maps
  • loose octrees to speedup rendering of high-poly meshes
  • (fuzzy) reflections
  • A description of the image:

    On the top left you see a scene lit with a home made LDR radiance map. I made it by photographing a christmas ornament since it was the most round and reflecting thing I could find in my house. It wasn't quite perfect round at all and there were some traces of fake-spray-snow on it too, which resulted in a not so perfect map. I had fun anyway :) (yes, you can see me laying on the street photographing the thing).

    On the top right a standard scene, lit with a HDR map.

    On the bottom another scene, lit with the same HDR map.

    I used HDR maps from and used also HDR Shop you can find there, to convert my christmas-ornament thing to a more compatible float map.

    On my humble page at you can find a kind of log of my progress during developing it. Joost did something similar with his raytracer and I really liked that: it showed me that those impressing renderings you often see as IOTD do not come out of the blue, but that all raytracers start with some crappy renderings. (like mine did).

    As you might see in my development log, it is a project of some time ago, I was recently busy with some other (real-time graphics) projects. The next raytracer I'll write will use photonmapping, something that seems very interesting to me.

    Thanks for your time,
    Roel Reijerse.

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