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Submitted by Mikael Persson, posted on December 03, 2001

Image Description, by Mikael Persson

This image was produce by a Path tracer I implemented as part of my Computer Graphics final project at University of Waterloo.

Path tracing, as apposed to usual ray tracing, is physically based i.e. is based on a more physically feasable lighting model. Basically the algorithm finds light transportation paths from the scene light sources to the eye, computing the amount of light travelling the path weighted with the probability of light travelling the particular path.

The path tracer supports a number of features such as:

Global illumination via path tracing, i.e. the light travelling a certain path is affected by the surfaces it hits on the way to the eye.

Soft shadows, soft reflections and soft refractions via stochastic hemisphere sampling.

Metallic and dielectric surfaces as described by Peter Shirley and Michael Ashikhmin in 'An Anisotropic Phong BRDF Model', Computer Graphics Tools.

Depth of field via camera lens simulation.

Mikael Persson

Image of the Day Gallery


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

December 04, 2001, 12:32 PM

But why are they so short? It's not that i havent seen reflections before, its just that i've never seen reflection that are that short. The reflections should have the same size as the object they reflect, shouldn't they?


December 04, 2001, 12:42 PM

Ohh.. See how you like it in the end of next term :-)


December 04, 2001, 01:50 PM

Hey! I'll throw in some more UW Graphics support! That's a pretty sweet image... Graphics was my favorite university course by far, and although you feel swamped by work during the course, you feel pangs of withdrawl when it's gone. I'm looking at my courseload for next term and thinking "I wish I could take graphics again instead..."

I'm planning to post some images from my final project up here too, but I want to get my project ported to native Windows first so that people can download it and try it out. Most of the work was physics and collision detection, so it's much more interesting in motion.

Links for the interested:

Other UW Projects

My Project


December 04, 2001, 11:24 PM

WATERLOO SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!! mwa ha ha ha! =)

SKULE RULES... UofT Forever!

- Tom


December 04, 2001, 11:28 PM

Your Image sucks in 3 particular areas

1) So Bad!
2) So Hard!
3) Wicked Bad!

hehe... again, gooooo UofT =)


December 05, 2001, 01:47 AM

Waterloosers suck!!!!!!!!



December 05, 2001, 01:50 AM

I concur with incinx's comments on the areas of suckiness of your image.



December 05, 2001, 07:55 PM


it really smells

no wonder waterlooooo sucks


December 08, 2001, 03:23 PM

really nice image... i'm still working on my path tracer (all kinds of needed efficiency improvements like stratified sampling, etc) so i can appreciate how much work and knowledge is required to do this. very impressive stuff.

i assume that you don't just trace a single random ray at every bounce several times in the hope of hitting a light source and then calculate the lighting, so what do you do? i'm currently using this (crap) method, and it's killing me :)

for a look at my incredibly bad path tracer, you can check my site at any help would be really cool, thanks! :)

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