The Reyes Rendering Architecture

Robert L. Cook, Loren Carpenter, Edwin Catmull


An architecture is presented for fast high-quality rendering of complex images. All objects are reduced to common world-space geometric entities called micropolygons, and all of the shading and visibility calculations operate on these micropolygons. Each type of calculation is performed in a coordinate system that is natural for that type of calculation. Micropolygons are created and textured in the local coordinate system of the object, with the result that texture filtering is simplified and improved. Visibility is calculated in screen space using stochastic point sampling with a z buffer. There are no clipping or perspective calculations. Geometric and texture locality are exploited to minimize paging and to support models that contain arbitrarily many primitives.