This article is to introduce ray tracing for those who are not aware of it. Essentially help beginners, college grads by highlighting an area where they can put their efforts to create a nice Java application. I will also introduce an entry level Java application which you can use it for inspiration.
Ray tracing is a technique to create highly realistic three dimensional images by modelling the path of light by recursively reflecting and refracting it as it bounces amidst virtual objects. This is an interesting area for programmers. We can create beautiful sculpture like images by using mirrors, transparent surfaces, different light sources and virtual object combination.
Basic Terminologies of Ray Tracing
- Scene – Setting of the graphic image that is about to be generated and the objects that are part of it.
- Eye – Viewpoint through which the image will be looked at.
- Reflection – Light bouncing back once it hits a surface.
- Refraction – Light bending and changing direction on touching a surface.
There is lot more to ray tracing. Ray Tracing: Graphics for the Masses is a frequently cited paper on ray tracing and a good read. It also guides us through to start implementing ray tracing application.
JPath – JRay – JRayGLSL are ray tracing applications in Java by Harha. JPath is a small Java application in size and so is a right candidate for beginners to learn ray tracing. Its an impressive Java application and a nice Java implementation of ray tracing. College grads and Java guys looking for a project idea can take this and work on creating a full fledged ray tracing application. If you are on the lookout for more ideas to start a Java project check 10 Interesting Java Projects You can Contribute and Learn.
Wishing you a Happy and Productive New Year 2015!
This Java tutorial was added on 04/01/2015.