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Submitted by Christopher Kulla, posted on July 25, 2003

Image Description, by Christopher Kulla

Here are a few sample renderings made with my new rendering system.

Sunflow is an advanced and highly extensible ray-tracing engine supporting global illumination. It is written in Java (for extensibility) and the source code is released under the MIT license. The current release is mainly targeted to programmers. The scene file format is documented but no exporters are provided as it is likely to change in the very near future.

The main current features are:
  • Photon mapping (for GI and caustics)
  • Irradiance caching with irradiance gradients (for diffuse inter-reflections)
  • Diffuse, metal and glass shaders
  • Soft shadows from area lights
  • Point lights and directional spotlights
  • Meshes, spheres and planes
  • Adaptive anti-aliasing
  • Simple shader system (simply extend a base class to define new shading types - no restrictions are placed on the type of material you can represent - user has full control over shadows/caustics/GI)
  • Features currently in development are:
  • Volumetric scattering with a volume photon map
  • Sub-surface scattering
  • Scripting language integration for procedural scene creation and run-time definition of new shader types (I am considering Jython)
  • And lots more ...
  • Please stop by the website to check out the full feature list, extended gallery and download the source code/test scenes:

    Note: I am looking for talented modelers (3ds max preferably) to design some additional test scenes and stress test the renderer. Feel free to contact me if you are interested. Your work will be showcased and credited.

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