[Haskell-cafe] Ray tracer

Sebastian Sylvan sebastian.sylvan at gmail.com
Sun Jul 15 13:11:43 EDT 2007

On 15/07/07, Andrew Coppin <andrewcoppin at btinternet.com> wrote:
> Philippa Cowderoy wrote:
> > On Sun, 15 Jul 2007, Andrew Coppin wrote:
> >
> >
> >> By "production grade" I don't mean "you can put Pixar to shame", I just mean
> >> "it's not an experimental research project - it's something designed to
> >> actually be used by normal users".
> >>
> >>
> >
> > Or to put it another way, that the code and UI are appropriate for
> > "production grade" software in general, as opposed to a raytracer that's
> > suitable for production grade rendering.
> >
> Well, I don't know - POV-Ray on Unix doesn't have a UI at all. ;-)

Neither does mentalray!

"production grade" probably means:

* Very fast ray-casting for various primitives
* Some on-demand distributed scene database
* A way of writing your own shaders (lightmap shader, material
shaders, lens shaders, photon shaders, etc. etc.). Possibly with
hs-plugins or equivalent?
* A runtime for distributing tiles to various sattelites on the network.

Flexibility and extensibility is key, not features. For example
mentalray doesn't have any built-in way of integrating all the
lighting contribution at a given point, that's something the shader
writer does manually. It's just a very fast ray tracing engine, and a
system for automaticlaly distributing the required geometery and
textures over the network so you can use multiple computers to render
an image.

The GUI stuff is generally done from within the 3D package (Maya, Max
etc.), if at all.

Sebastian Sylvan
UIN: 44640862

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