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Section - 5 - Further Information and Resources

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Subject 5.1 - On-line Resources

  * FAQs
    All of the FAQs in the USENET heirarchy that are posted to the
    news.answers newsgroup (as all FAQs should be) are archived at:

    They are also converted to HTML format and made available at:

    The POV-Ray specific FAQ as available at:

    For those people that are interested in learning about the internal
    workings of a ray tracer, you should take a look at the newsgroup Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).  This
    document describes rotations, intersections, texture mapping, etc.

  * Ray Tracing News
    Eric Haines <> has put together a phenomenal amount of
    information on ray tracing.  This he combines into his Ray Tracing
    News (RTNews).  They are a wealth of information and contain
    articles, sofware reviews and comparisons, book reviews and lists
    of everything and anything to do with ray tracing.  They are
    available from many sites in text and/or HTML format; the master
    site is:

  * Ray Tracing Bibliogaphies
    In addidtion to the Ray Tracing News, Eric Haines also maintains an
    up-to-date bibliography of papers relating to ray tracing:

    Rick Speer <> has also done a lot of work in bringing
    together articles on ray tracing.  He maintains a cross-indexed ray
    tracing bibliography of over 500 articles from 1968 to 1991.
    These include papers from Siggraph, Graphics Interface,
    Eurographics, CG International and Ausgraph proceedings.  All
    citations are keyworded and cross-indices are supplied by author
    and keyword.

    The bibliography is in the form of a 41 page postscript file which
    is held at many ftp sites as "":

  * Ray Tracing Abstracts
    Tom Wilson <> has collected over 300 abstracts
    from ray tracing related papers and books.  The collections is
    available as plain ascii, with Latex and troff formatting programs
    included.  It is available as "rtabs.*" from many sites.

  * Graphics Resources List
    The Graphics Resources List contains a wealth of information on all
    sorts of computer graphics and visualization information.  It has
    info on mailing lists, plotting packages, ray tracers, other
    rendering methods, etc.  It is available on,
    comp.answers or archived at various sites.  The official archive is

  * Paper Bank Project
    Juhana Kouhia <> has collected together various
    technical papers in electronic form.  Contact him for more

  * Global Illumination Compendium
    Phili Dutres effort to bring together most of the useful formulas and 
    equations for global illumination algorithms in computer graphics.


Subject 5.2 - Other Newsgroups

  Other newsgroups that may be of interest to you are listed below.



Subject 5.3 - Books

  Title:      Ray Tracing Creations
  Authors:    Drew Wells and Chris Young
  Publisher:  The Waite Group
  Year:       1993
  ISBN:       1-878739-27-1

  This book has been written by Drew Wells and Chris Young, two of the
  original developers of POV-Ray, as a user and reference manual for
  POV-Ray.  Coming in at 573 pages, it's an excellent publication with
  literally hundreds of stunning colour and monochrome pictures.  The
  only drawback with the book is that it deals with POV-Ray version 1.0
  which is dated now that version 3.0 is out, but it is still a very
  worthwhile investment for any POV-Ray user.

  Title:      Ray Tracing Worlds with POV-Ray
  Authors:    Alexander Enzmann, Lutz Kretzschmar, and Chris Young
  Publisher:  The Waite Group
  Year:       1994
  ISBN:       1-878739-64-6

  Raytracing Worlds with POV-Ray is written with the intermediate to
  advanced POV-Ray user in mind.  This book comes with POV-Ray 2.2,
  Moray, and several additional tools for MS-DOS on diskette.  It
  assumes you have a basic knowledge of POV-Ray, which you can easily
  get by reading the POV-Ray documentation.  An review of the book is
  available at:

  Title:      Adventures in Ray Tracing
  Author:     Alfonso Hermida
  Publisher:  Que Corp.
  Year:       1993
  ISBN:       1-56529-555-2

  This book looks at Alexander Enzmann's ray tracer, Polyray
  (see 1 - Ray Tracing Software), and the author's own modelling system,
  POVCAD which runs under MS Windows.  The two work well together.  The
  content of the book is good and, as in the previous book, there are
  many excellent illustrations and pictures.

  There are a few errors in the book, but Alfonso has produced an
  errata list which is available from:

  Title:      Photorealism and Ray Tracing in C
  Authors:    Christopher Watkins, Stephen Coy, Mark Finlay
  Publisher:  M&T Books
  Year:       1992
  ISBN:       1-55851-247-0

  Provided with this book is source code for a ray tracer called Bob
  which is a subset of Stephen Coy's full-blown ray tracer, Vivid
  (see 1 - Ray Tracing Software).

  Title:      Making Movies on Your PC
  Authors:    David K. Mason and Alexander Enzmann
  Publisher:  The Waite Group
  Year:       1993
  ISBN:       1-878739-41-7

  Focusing on animation, this book is by David K. Mason, author of many
  utilities including DTA - Dave's Targa Animator, and Alexander
  Enzmann, author of Polyray.  These tools, and others, are used to show
  how animations can be created on a PC.  It's a 210 page book that is
  laid out well with ample illustrations.

  Title:      An Introduction to Ray Tracing
  Authors:    Andrew Glassner (ed)
  Publisher:  Academic Press
  Year:       1989
  ISBN:       1-12-286160-4

  An Introduction to Ray Tracing has its main focus on the programming
  techniques, implementation, and theoretical concepts in writing a ray
  tracer.  It has been described as one of the two required books for
  ray tracing programmers (the other being Object-Oriented Ray Tracing
  in C++ by Nicholas Wilt) .  It contains chapters from many of the
  pioneers of ray tracing.  Eratta is available at:

  Title:      Graphics Gems
  Author:     Andrew Glassner (ed)
  Publisher:  Academic Press
  Year:       1990
  ISBN:       0122861663

  Graphics Gems is a series of technical books devoted to computer
  graphics algorithms, with editors from the who's-who of computer
  graphics.  While not specific to ray tracing, these books do contain
  a lot of optimized ray tracing algorithms and code.  The books are
  very worthwhile to get if you are a graphics programmer (great covers
  too)!  You can get the source code examples for all volumes at:

  Title:      Object-Oriented Ray Tracing in C++
  Author:     Nicholas Wilt
  Publisher:  John Wiley & Sons
  Year:       1993
  ISBN:       0471-304-158

  This book takes the reader through many issues involved with the
  development of a ray tracer in C++.  The last section of the book
  deals with OORT, a class library for ray tracing.  It does not
  implement any input language or user interface but uses C++ calls to
  the library.  This is intuitive, due to the nature of C++, and
  extremely powerful as all the normal constructs of C/C++ such as
  loops, conditionals, etc., are available.

  It's definately a programmer's book and some knowledge of graphics
  programming is assumed.  Because of this, the nature of the book is
  quite technical and can be hard going.  Eric Haines sums it up well:


Subject 5.4 - Image Libraries

  The POV-Ray home site has a good collection of ray traced images.
  The site maintains a "Hall of Fame" for outstanding images created
  with POV-Ray:

  The Rayshade home page also has an amazing collection of images made
  with this renderer and some custom additions at:


Subject 5.5 - Texture Libraries

  There are a couple of initiatives under way to create a database of
  POV-Ray textures.  People who have any textures at all from POV-Ray
  are encouraged to send textures to the maintainers of the archives
  so that everyone can benefit from the time you spent on creating the
  textures.  A searchable index maintained by Rene Schwietzke is
  available at:

  There is a library of building related textures (bricks, stone, etc),
  for use as image maps at:
  Other Resources


Subject 5.6 - Internet Ray Tracing Competition

  Starting in November 1994, Matt Kruse started a raytracing
  competition for the readers of c.g.r.r, and the internet in general.
  What started out small grew into a great forum for incredible
  raytraced images on the net.  Open to all artists using raytracing as
  their medium, the competition attracted artists of all skill levels,
  but more importantly served as a showcase of what is possible, and
  allowed everyone to learn a few tricks and techniques.  Winners
  invariably pushed the envelope of what people thought possible, and
  winning was important as much for the admiration of the other artists
  as it was for the prizes.

  Because of its popularity, Matt could not keep up with the work
  needed to run the competition to his satisfaction, and the contest
  closed one year after it started.  Fortunately, a new group of
  people, Bill Marrs, Chip Richards, and Michael J Hammel, collectively
  known as the IRTC Admin Team, have picked up the flame with the
  blessing of Matt, and the new Internet Ray Tracing Competition has
  begun.  You can find out more about the competition, and see the
  images as each competition finishes at:                                []                                 []                    []

  This competition is something to look forward to every other
  month as the pictures become available for viewing.  There have been
  spectacular images for the first year of competitions.  The complete
  set of submitted images, as well as many of the source files are now
  available on CD-ROM.  See for more

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