3D Ray Tracing: POV-Ray

For a number of years I entered the Internet Ray Tracing Competition (IRTC) hosted by the POV-Ray team but open to any rendering engines. Here are showcased my entries and I a custom modification I did to POV-Ray itself allowing for algorithmic surface distortions.

Click on the links for pages that I put up not long after the contests. They're ugly and I haven't done anything to pretty them up or edit them, but they're pretty informative about the processes I went through.

Ahh SuntlightAaaah Sunlight This was the first image I did for the IRTC and I spent a ton of time on it, particularly getting the righ effect of sunlight going through stained glass. In the end it was taking far too long to render and I had to enter a cut down version to contest which didn't show well. I still really like it though.

BaskingBasking My second entry and my best placer, coming in 11th out of 79 entries. Another excuse to use stained glass, yet once again I ran out of time and had to enter a smaller, non anti-aliased version of the image. I feel I could have cracked the top 5 if I'd given it the time it deserved. My favorite image.

Where Are TheyWhere Are They I wasn't going to enter this contest, but then a great idea came to me with about a week left. I think it's pretty good considering the rush. Do you sense a theme here, I seem to be always crunched for time on these.

AiiiAiii This projects was to be a showcase for my custom modification of POVRay listed on the Code Projects page. The sphere in the center of the picture was to be a horse, surface distorted and textured so it would look like a metal horse jumping out of a marble one. As usual I started running out of time and my plans to optimize the custom distortion code turned out to be rather optimistic. I eventually had to cut the horse and I replaced it in the 11th hour with something that didn't really work, a green isosurface sphere with a crackle pattern applied to it. Why I didn't use the statue of the woman from Basking I still don't know, it would have looked like she was standing protectively over the boy with nice water ripples from the fountain washing over her. Ah hindsight. But there are other things I really like about this image, like the water fountains, the scattering of leaves and the way it all comes together, almost.

What? Why?

I'm a creative guy, and code is my medium. I'm always wanting to create worlds, games, stories... stuff. To this end I also always want to know how things work and how things can be done better; How does bump mapping work? Is query or object caching better? How do you simulate physics? Is MVC really much better than CGI style page serving? What is Cloud Computing? What's up with iOS?

On these pages are presented a selection of projects seeking to answer these questions that progressed far enough to have demonstrable results. Or, against all odds, were actually completed!

(it's worth noting that these pages are, in themselves, one of those projects)