Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reading Response #6

In class, we've been using the ray tracing method for displaying 3D graphics that show the interaction of light with the objects depicted. Although much of what we've been doing is still very basic, it's cool to see how the objects realistically react to the light source that we've placed in the scene.

The reading assigned also dealt with ray tracing but in more detail and complexity. One article discussed how ray tracing takes the viewing angle, light angle, reflections, refractions, and a host of other variables to render the scene. It was interesting to see how we are able to determine what light "particles" are relevant to the viewer and apply the light to the graphics accordingly.

The POV-Ray Tutorial built on this knowledge by introducing users to the POV-Ray software used to implement ray tracing. The most fascinating part was viewing the POV-Ray Hall of Fame. It consists of a variety of image types but all were pretty awesome in their use of light and the effects caused by it. Additionally, all were attractive pieces with interesting designs. It's definitely worth a look.

Finally, we read an article that pondered the question of whether Leonardo Da Vinci would have coded. It discusses how he went to great lengths to perfect everything he did from artwork to inventions. Leonardo apparently studied everything he was involved in to understand it fully but also to apply it. This could mean replicating reality in the case of his artwork to inventing machines that were way ahead of their time. At the end, the article concludes that Leonardo would have made an excellent programmer because of his abstract method of solving problems. Looking at the work he's done, I'd readily agree.

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