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Welcome to "100% Zap", Håkan "Master Zap" Anderssons website - hosted by LYSATOR ACS
Please use "my" URL http://www.Master-Zap.com when linking!
I put every ounce of developement time (late nights and early mornings) into making it produce realistic images (I always felt everybody else implementing raytracers got stuck in the "I want to make it faster" trap. I completely ignored speed, and bet my resources on realism. And there are still some nifty stuff that RayTracker can do that almost nothing else can).
But I have now completely stopped developing it (since almost 20 years, I might add!), and have devoted my joy to other things and do my computer graphics somewhere else. So don't ask me for a copy - please.
RayTracker got around such things by treating light magnitudes nonlinearily. 1 plus 1 did not equal 2 in the world of RayTracker light math. Basically, it was a kind of tone-mapping, but it was performed on the lighting level rather than on the final pixel. Of course, from a physics point of view that makes very little sense, but it made some rather nice images, because it played into the hands of our perception of light, rather than fighting it. A rainy day I will write a paper about the details - but suffice to say that it worked very well.
At the time (early 90's) most rendering programs could do all the above, but most only apply one image at the time as a 'map'. RayTracker allowed any number of maps to be combined.
This allows complex surfaces to be created from simple parts. Decals can be added onto surfaces, textures can be mixed, e.t.c.
The Famous teapot is the benchmark object in Computer Graphics. Naturally, I use it too. Here featuring teapots made of glass (left), diamond (back) and water (front).
This shows the map-mixing capability of RayTracker. The floor consists of two different texture-maps. One with the woodgrains, and another with the "tiles" of the floor. These are repeated at different scales, which means that when one of them repeats, the other does not. The result looks like a very realistic hardwood floor. Finding where the textures repeat is hard. If there would be only one texture map, you could easily see where it repeats (the human eye is very good at picking such things up!)
Modeled by: Autodesk (but I added the table lamp, book, pencil and bolts on the table)
Inspired by "Reds Dream" (by Pixar) I modeled a couple of bikes.
Nothing really advanced technically, but it was a fairly long render... there are many spokes in the wheel of a bike, I can tell you that.... :-)
It says "(c) EMT" in the picture, but that's not true, since I don't work there anymore, and they don't have anything to do with RayTracker any more.
Modeled by:Yours Truly.
This is an animation (in Autodesk Animator .FLI format, 320x200 pixels) of Luxo Jr and Red (from "Red's Dream") tossing a ball back and forth to eachother.
Being a big John Lasseter fan, I couldn't help but model some of his "stars", and put them in the same little "movie"...
Modeled and Animated by:Yours Truly.
While we are at the "Pixar Fan" subject, I simply had to show my (not very good) rendition of the little snowman from "Knick Knack".
It's not a great model, but, as Depeche Mode has engraved at the center of their first single ["I just can't get enough"]: "It's better than a slap in the face with a wet fish..."
Modeled by:Yours Truly.
My attempt at maximum photorealism. Please note the coffee stains, the donut crumbs, the blurry blueprint, the half-erased pencil markings with little chips of the eraser beside it, the woodgrain in the pencil....
The solid object is made with RayTracker's solid modelling operations. The blueprint drawing is the actual drawing which makes that object, saved from AutoCAD as a GIF file, painted blue and blurred in Photoshop, and used as a texture...
Modeled and so by:Yours Truly.
All the readouts are actually .FLI texture maps, which means, they are really animated: Radar scopes radiate, oscilloscopes oshillate, and video screens vidiate.
Neat touch: The planets, seen in one screen, are rendered in RayTracker. The "Tactical display" on the screen beside it, is the same planets, rendered in RayTracker as wireframe....
The storyboard for this animation was all done. There would be a cute (robotic-alien-style) little boy sleeping in the spaceship, his dad sitting playing videogames in the chair pictured above. The kid has a vivid dream of a Terminator style alien mashing the ship...
This is the only part of the killer I modelled for that dream sequence...
The kid would wake up from the dream, scared out of his wits. Jump out of bed, open his toychest (hmm... why are all computer-animated flic's about toys?) and rummage around and find his trusty old laser gun.
Then he would go out in the corridor, and hear strange noises from the command room (which really is his dad playing videogames, but he thinks it is the alien killer droid he dreamt about).
At the same time, his dad decides to give his little son a cup of tea. He makes a tray with a teapot (guess which one) on, and is about to enter the corridor... the extremely enlarged shadow of the teapot falls on the corridor wall, the kid thinks it is a monster, and raises his toy laser, arms it and.....
It's a real pity this animation was never finished!
Modeled by:Yours Truly.
Benji Mouse was an entry for a computer graphics competition, where the winner would get it's picture printed on a mouse pad (in Swedish, "mouse carpet"). Therefore I made this picture, where Benji Mouse demonstrates his nice $1 carpet.
I didn't win, but I got an honorary mention (and my picture in the magazine), and was supposed to receive a T-shirt. Havn't seen the shirt yet tho... :-)
Technically, I a most pleased with the Lace curtain. I am not as pleased with the hand-modelled electric cord.
Modeled by: Yours Truly.
This is a demo AutoCAD drawing, that I've attempted to make photorealistic. Not very advanced stuff. The procedural wood in the handle could be better (the veines are too dark). But overall, a nifty image...
One of the two places in the universe who ever bought RayTracker was a school in the town I live, who had an advanced course in "Technical Illustration". The people there were working with airbrushes, paper, pencils e.t.c....
One of their assignment was to draw this old vintage 1800 gas engine, called the "Centaur", from the original old blurprints. They had four weeks to do that task: Make the perspective view (using perspective ruler, tables and a pocketcalculator), and then mask it (cutting holes in cover plastic) and airbrush it.
I borrowed a copy of the drawings, and modelled it in AutoCAD (which wasn't easy, actually). I returned to them a week later, and showed them three renderings of it, including an animation of the thing spinning:
The look on their faces was priceless. There was some amount of fear in it....
Modeled and animated by:Yours Truly.
Since I am a music dweeb too, I couldn't resist the temptation to render an electric guitar.... (which is wierd, since I mostly play synthesizers and computers!?)
Here, the projective mode of the texturemapping is used, to make the wood grains match on the top surface of the guitar (which is a single curved-edge polygon) and the sides (which is a different smoothed polygon mesh). The model has some bugs where these two surfaces meet (or rather, doesn't meet), but what the hell. It's pretty to look at...
Modeled by:Yours Truly.