Ray Tracing - Polygon Rendering and Ray Tracing Methods
Basically Ray tracing is an exercise that is performed to attain the realism in a scene. In easy way Ray Tracing is a worldwide illumination based rendering technique used for generating views of a virtual 3-D scene on a computer. Ray tracing is nearly allied to, and is an extension of ray-casting, a general hidden-surface erased technique. It tries to mimic actual physical effects related with the propagation of light. Ray tracing handles shadows, multiple specular reflections, and texture mapping in an extremely simple straight-forward manner. So, the crux is "Ray tracing is a method of generating realistic images through computer, in which the paths of individual rays of light are followed from the viewer to their points of origin". Any program which implements these techniques of ray tracing is ray tracer. One of the prime benefits of method of Ray tracing is, it makes use of the actual physics and mathematics behind light. Therefore the images generates can be strikingly, life-like, or "photo-realistic".
In this topic we will discuss the basic ray-tracing algorithm. This will also illustrate the concept behind anti-aliasing, a process for enhancing the realism of an image through smoothing the jagged edges caused through the digital nature of computer-displays. This section will not consider any discussions of the more advanced characteristics of today's ray- tracers, as motion blur, depth of field, penumbras as soft shadows, radiosity or texture mapping.
Consequently to precede the journey of ray tracing we will start along with basics as idea of scene and explain its basic elements. Along with this as a foundation, this will then introduce ray casting, and then ray tracing as an extension of ray casting. At last, the section will discuss the fundamental concepts behind anti-aliasing like a meaning of enhancing the realism of an image and will then decide with an overview of how and where actually ray tracing is utilized.