Internet Ray Tracing Competition Entries

Jan-Feb 2001 - Worship

Ave Maria

The image

A moonlit religious procession.

How this image was created

With more rendering than coding, I can tell you!

This is based on the final scenes in Disney's Fantasia, where a procession of people march by lanternlight to a church to sing their praises to God, to the strains of Franz Schubert's Ave Maria. I made this recreation entirely from memory - the last time I watched Fantasia was a couple of years ago. I suppose if I go back and look at it, I'll see Disney's animators did a much better job than I did... :-)

I was too busy this round to spend my usual amount of time on research and modelling, so I used a lot of media to hide the simple primitive shapes that make up the scene. The media took the most time to get right. It is a double layer of scattering and absorbing media with crackle patterns at two different turbulence settings and scales, inside a thin box in front of the camera. It looks more impressive with a higher gamma, but I dimmed the final image a lot to get the night effect.

The ground is a simple heightfield, the people are just stretched spheres(!) and the crosses are two cylinders. The moon is a hand-drawn image map. The tree is an image map re-used from my Laboratory entry. Chris Colefax's has been used for the stars and Milky Way. There are only 4 light sources: the lanterns and the moon. I tried using up to 20 lanterns, but with the media I'd still be rendering that full size next year.

Development History

I have an idea, and I need to use media to achieve a certain effect. While tinkering with POV-Ray's media statement I produced this, which is interesting. If you ever wondered what a bozo pattern actually looks like, here it is. This actually is my intended scene (in a very early stage of development obviously), but it probably doesn't give away any clues to what the final scene is supposed to look like.

The second image just moves the media a bit closer. This looks pretty cool. But I wish I could work out why it's coloured instead of monochrome.

Granite pattern. Much better. For grey fog, anyway. The bozo was kind of good for 1960's psychadelic stuff.

Crackle with turbulence. Now we're getting somewhere. Some judicious scaling and layering could make this look quite good.

The media is just about right now. I've made the lights a bit yellowish, and added some absorption in the yellow so the media looks less yellow than the lights. The camera is also pointing up a bit to lower the horizon. I'd like to make the media look grey, except for the area right near the lights, but haven't figured out if that's possible. The render time is already up to 7 minutes for a 320x240 render with no anti-aliasing.

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