Distributed Ray Tracing

Robert L. Cook, Thomas Porter, Loren Carpenter


Ray tracing is one of the most elegant techniques in computer graphics. Many phenomena that are difficult or impossible with other techniques are simple with ray tracing, including shadows, reflections, and refracted light. Ray directions, however, have been determined precisely, and this had limited the capabilities of ray tracing. By distributing the directions of the rays according to the analytic function they sample, ray tracing can incorporate fuzzy phenomena. This provies correct and easy solutions to some previously unsolved or partially solved problems, including motion blur, depth of field, penumbras, translucency, and fuzzy reflections. Motion blur and depth of field calculations can be integrated with the visible surface calculations, avoiding the problems found in previous methods.

Available in the Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 1984