Disney's Practical Guide to Path Tracing (YouTube) Hyperion handles several million light rays at a time by sorting and bundling them together according to their directions. When the rays are grouped in this way, many of the rays in a bundle hit the same object in the same region of space. This similarity of ray hits allows us – and the computer – to optimize the calculations for the objects hit. [more inside]
Louis Gorenfeld lovingly explores the mathematics and techniques behind early, pseudo-3D games. [more inside]
When Iñigo Quílez isn't hard at work at Pixar, he's active in the demoscene, creating 4KB programs that render incredible procedurally generated scenes. He also writes tutorials on both video and audio synthesis, but arguably the coolest section of his site features live-coding videos of him improvising both audio and video rendering code that will make any experienced programmer feel wholly inadequate.
Digital Artform is a fascinating resource for those interested in 3D graphics, digital painting, and the like. How about turning 2D stills into 3D animations, the truth about motion blur and colour mixing, or outlines in action? Also, a recipe for making your own Viewmaster reels, and the politics of colour saturation.
There's a new 3D picture every day, and if you look at the archive all at once, it's like reading a slightly unnerving children's book.
For the last year or so, I've been messing around with a little app called Blender. Blender is a piece of 3d rendering and animation software that does quite a bit of what high priced renderers like 3D Studio Max and Ray Dream do [samples]. The difference is that Blender is free.[more...]