Guess the render

~ 7 Jan 2012, 02:20

Thanks to the second incarnation of the raytracing course in the Uni, I'm having the rare opportunity to experience how it feels to rewrite a modestly-sized (7k sloc) project from scratch. Sounds familiar? Raise your hand, if you, at some point, did have the burning desire to scrap the whole ungodly mess you're currently working on, and restart from Square One. Doing it right™, this time.

Yes, I know. Probably some of you even did that.

Well, it's a known fact, that this could be the worst strategic mistake for any bigger project.
For smaller stuff, it's quite okay though. I feel that we got the sample raytracer a lot better this time. Today, I even decided to compare the global illumination results (with path tracing) against V-Ray (the scene is courtesy of Kevin Beasons's smallpt).


This even poses an opportunity for a small challenge. Can you guess the renderer? V-Ray on top, or the bottom?

Browsing around SmallPT, I stumbled upon something of interest, which made me acknowledge (again) how cool 3D graphics programming could be.

For comparison, imagine you're writing FS stuff. And you've got a bug. What follows next is a kernel panic, reboot, and keeping your fingers crossed that the test partition is not completely invalid, so you can spare the reformat. Oh, and you still have a bug to fix.

Or, you could be writing some web software, and you've got a bug. Three months later, someone figured out how to exploit it, made your site blinking pink, tens of hours of human input are lost, etc. Oh, and you still have a bug to fix.

Or, you could be writing 3D graphics stuff - just went on optimizing some rendering code, which renders the images above. And you've got a bug (you should have seen the trend by now). And the bug manifests itself into this:


The best part is - you can even publish it as is, bugs included.

What else: I'm up for finishing the latest major version of AGG, 0.3.0. After that, I'm going to delve into ucbench and add OpenCL support (which, sadly, this implies a lot of website-related stuff, too).

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