Thursday, August 14, 2014

Photon Soup

Quite a while back, in 1994 I published some images at SIGGRAPH.  Thought I'd put them here so they are not lost.

First image:

This image was generated in 1991 by simulating the motion of 29.8
Billion photons in a room. The room is 2 meters cubed with a 30 cm
aperture in one wall. The opposite and adjacent walls are mirrors, so
this is a 'tunnel of mirrors'. The depth of field is very shallow. In
the foreground is a prism, resting on the floor. A beam of light
emerges from the left wall, goes through the prism and makes a spectrum
on the right wall. About 1 in 177 photons made it through the aperture.

The image took 100 Sun SparcStation1s 1 month to generate using
background processing time. This represents 10 CPU years of processing
time. If the lights are 25 watt bulbs this represents a few picoseconds
of time.
This was 'grid computing' way before its time.

Photon Soup 2

This next series was done several years later on much faster machines.

These are made by simulating the motion of 382 Billion Photons in a 2 meter cubed room.  There are aperatures on the walls that capture photons.  These are stereo pairs. The lighter ones are 382 billion photons.  The darker ones are just the prisim to show off the caustics better.

Front View
A white beam of light comes in from the wall on the left, hits the prism, and is refracted to a rainbow on the right side wall. BUT... It also is internally reflected and bounces around a bit more and goes throught the clear ball on the right.  If you take the overhead view image that is mostly black below and brighten it way up you can see all the caustics.

Top View

Side View

Front View - Prism Only

Top View

Side View

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