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Submitted by , posted on 09 March 2005



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It's a been a while since a good 'ol fashioned ray tracer has featured as an IOTD, so I thought I'd add my contribution!

Igneus is a global illumination renderer which I am currently developing for my final-year BSc computer science project at Swansea university in the UK. The project is a follow-up to a real-time engine I built during my first year, and which I submitted as an IOTD a couple of years ago. I was inspired to write Igneus after seeing the efforts of the many talented programmers developing their own open-source renderers (notably Sunflow, RISE and PANE). I've been working on the project for about 6 months now and it's finally starting to produce satisfactory renders (although there's still a lot of room from improvement!). The features Igneus currently supports are:
  • Full global illumination using Jensen's photon mapping techniques
  • Full global illumination using path tracing
  • Sub-surface scattering and translucency
  • Texture mapping
  • Depth-of-field blur with customisable "circles-of-confusion"
  • Soft shadows
  • High dynamic range radiance maps
  • Transmission with refraction
  • Procedural texture shaders (Perlin noise, etc)
  • Octree-accelerated polygon mesh objects
  • Metaballs and other implicit surfaces
  • High quality adaptive anti-aliasing
  • The main image is a test render demonstrating caustic photon mapping. The scene is composed of three Utah teapots and one PQ torus knot. A slight depth of field blur is also applied to add a little more realism. The lower-left render is of Jensen's cardioid caustic cylinder. The crisp edges on the focused caustic highlight the Gaussian filter used in the photon density estimation. Finally, the lower-right image demonstrates the sub-surface scattering algorithm applied to an alien figure I modeled in MAX. (Apologies for the otherwise simplistic scenes; I'm not a 3D modeler so I'm quite restricted as to what I can come up with. If anybody has a model they'd like to see rendered by Igneus, drop me an e-mail! :-)

    Many more renders together with a full feature list, dev diary, reading list and links to other renderers can be found at my site: www.igneus.co.uk.

    Any comments, critiques or suggestions would be very welcome (and would help with my project dissertation!).

    Thanks,
    Ben Spencer



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