Polyray Graphics Workshop
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Introduction:
Welcome to my Graphics Page. I've been dabbling with Polyray for over two years. This isn't to say that I'm a master or anything, as a matter of fact I'm probably not much more advanced than I was when I started, but I'm having fun and learning a bit about the world of computer graphics and raytracing. I've put most of what I've done on this page. It's not going to win any competitions, but it hints at what can be done and might be useful to the beginner to see some of the techniques which can be applied and some of the pitfalls that can be avoided if you don't have a particular interest in the scenic route :) The first section of this page consists of still scenes (gifs and jpegs), click on the thumbnails to see the full version while the second half consists of a few animations (mpegs), these can be downloaded / viewed by clicking the icon beside the description.

If you have any queries, or spot a problem with these pages, mail me and don't forget to sign the guestbook before you go.

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Still Scenes:

My Plane

[Download sphere.jpg] This is my first image, created on a Sunday evening after a few hours of dabbling. It consists of a plane with my college ID card photo mapped onto it above which are suspended two spheres, one of a reflective texture, the other of a shiny texture. Unfortunately, I've lost the source file for this particular masterpiece :). Mapping a texture like this is reasonably straightforward anyways with the manual covering it quite well.

Checker

[Download check.jpg] I know, I know .. there are thousands of pictures of spheres on checkered planes, but it's the kinda thing you just have to do when you start out. It's a nice basic one for getting a feel for how to locate objects and light sources. If this one comes out blank, you know you're doing something fundamentally wrong. Heres the source - just select notepad or something simple as the viewer.

Spheres

[Download spheres.jpg] The texture in use in the large sphere is Lapis Lazuli, a function in Polyray. It looks damn good but takes an age to render. The orbiting sphere is another one of those must-do's when it comes to raytracing IMHO. To be honest, the position of the camera in this one could do with a bit of work, maybe move it up and slightly closer. Heres the source.

Shapes on a Wooden Road

[Download sproad2.jpg] It took me a while to get this looking (reasonably) ok, the first thing I forgot was the angle statement, which resulted in the spheres looking very distorted. 45 degrees is best for most scenes. I gave this one a good long render with most of polyrays options enabled. I think it was worth the wait. Heres the source.

Static Otis

[Download static-otis.gif] This is one of my latest experiments with ttfx (the handy utility included with polyray for rendering True Type fonts as polyray glyphs). You should have this as part of your polyray distrib, I just did this one up for the web-page of my Linux server (just in case it goes online some day :). Anyways, I generated it from the Impact font and then mapped the blue-agate predefined texture to it. The actual camera location took a bit of tweaking but I'm happy with the perspective now. To generate the glyphs, the following was used,
ttfx \windows\system\impact.ttf Otis 0.2
Heres the source.

Static Divil

[Download static-divil.gif] I couldn't stop dabbling with ttfx after having so much fun with it above so I went and rendered this one aswell, using the Latin Wide true type font and the Dented Red texture. See animations below for some further work with this one. Heres the source.

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Animations:

Orbiting sphere

[Download anim1.mpg] A basic orbiting animation involving one sphere travelling around another. It contains approx. 20 frames but the end result is quite acceptable in terms of both size and smoothness. Download the source.

Orbiting sphere on Wooden road

[Download anim2.mpg] Similar to the animation above, except the scene is based on the Shapes on a Wooden road. Download the source.

Barrel Space

[Download anim3.mpg] Two barrels, which I constructed in a separate file. The loveable (!?) checkered plane returns again. One of the barrels is continuously rotating, while the other passes by and travels over the horizon. This one loops quite well. I was planning to substitute other objects for the barrels, possibly a radar dish and a monorail effect, but time is forever my enemy (translate to: someday, but your guess as to when is as good as mine). Get the source of the main file or download the include file source for the barrel.

Writing

[Download writing.mpg] A short animation of the camera approaching my name (the writing itself was created with a polyray utility called ttfx) and dumped to a separate file. The infamous black and white checkered plane returns again I'm afraid :) Download the main source-file and the source generated by ttfx for my actual name.

Roulette

[Download roul.mpg] I put this one together for someone who needed some images for a graphics project he was working on. I actually did some of this out on paper before hacking it together and considering that I'm still not sure what a roulette wheel actually looks like, I don't think it turned out so bad (attentive viewers might notice that the roulette ball is actually inclined to defy gravity!). Here is the source and the simple gif used to generate the stripes on the roulette table by means of an imagemap.

Newtons Cradle

[Download newtons.mpg] This is my most recent project, one I have been meaning to do for some time but only recently got around to. At the moment this is most definitely a work in progress with the current textures being very subject to change. Also, the actual maths behind the animation are eluding me slightly at the moment, result in a marginally "wobbly" result. I think I have an idea whats up but, as usual, time will determine when I can get around to sorting it out. As usual, heres the source file.

Flaming Divil

[Download div-flam.mpg] No reference to an episode of the Simpsons or spontaneous combustion, rather an attempt to use the example polyray flame animation (in dat/animat/tex if memory serves correctly) with my 'Divil' logo as above. If you came to this through my new welcome page you should have seen the animated gif version. To be honest, I'm not impressed with the GIF format and the animated extension is also disappointing. The MPEG available here is much better in my opinion (and about 10% in size!!).
The animated gif version contains 20 frames using polyrays defaults while for the mpeg, I did a 50 frame sequence with high detail enabled (the 50 frames took approximately 2 days to render). The next step will be the get the light source flickering in tune with the flames (at the moment, there is a static light source in front of the logo). Maybe mappping the flame texture to the light?.
As usual, heres the source file.

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Information:
All the work I've done so far has been using Polyray V1.7 and Cmpeg for generating the mpegs. The last I heard, Polyray was at version 1.8, but I haven't actually used this myself, the best place to download Polyray is from POVray.org, which contains the latest release.

There is also a Linux port of Polyray, check out Felix Leitners page which also contains a HTML-ised version of the Polyray Manual.

Before you leave, please sign the guestbook. Also, I'm thinking of making some structural changes to this page including,

and I need your opinion on these, would you like to see any of the above on this page, if so which ones or have you any other suggestions?.
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Copyright © 1997 by Stephen Mulcahy (stephen@skynet.ie )