In a general sense visualisation can be described as visual representation of information. It can be a 3D photorealistic image, a sketch or a collage. However, computer visualisation has a number of advantages compared to manually created images. The project of a master’s student of the Department of Mechanics and Computer Modelling of the Faculty of Applied Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics of Voronezh State University Ivan Dyatlov Ray Tracing Render is aimed at optimizing the photorealistic image generation algorithm for standard PCs. The project is supervised by Associate professor of the Department of Mechanics and Computer Modelling Alexandr Yakovlev.
‘I am into computer graphics and I got interested in developing a program for an average PC that would make it possible to create a high-quality image that would be difficult to distinguish from a photograph. The goal of our project was to develop a program that could be used to produce real time 3D images in computer games, engineering analysis packages, and in motion pictures. There are several types of imaging algorithms. Most of them use bi-dimensional processing. They are fast but the images they produce differ from the ones produced with the help of ray tracing render algorithm, the algorithm we use in our project. Ray tracing render is a time-consuming method where the kernel processes all the scene objects separately for each pixel and that allows us to produce a more realistic and physically correct image. However, it leads to slowing down of operation speed at the computer’s central processing unit. Our project is aimed at its optimization for the graphics card that was originally created to deal with projection algorithms that are faster but less precise. Thus, the program we have been developing differs from similar programs using ray tracing render method in operation speed’, said Ivan Degtyarev.
Faster imaging by means of ray tracing render will make it possible to use the algorithm in computer games with real time imaging of scenes. Computer games with such software used as a basic component would benefit from a more photorealistic image. Currently, ray tracing render is not used in the computer games market as its operation speed on a typical PC does not allow production of real time imaging at 30 frames per second – the frame rate in a normal film and the optimal render speed for a human eye. The greater the speed the smoother is the change of frames. However, if the frame rate is less than 30, the image will flicker and the video will not be comfortable to watch. The goal of the project is to achieve the speed of 30 frames per second together with realistic imaging. So far, the program framework has been completed and the researchers are working on the algorithm optimization, its speedup, and software custom programming. As for film and cartoon production where real time imaging is less significant than the quality of the image, the high operation speed of the program will allow a reduction in the “drawing stage” of the production.
According to the developers, the potential consumers of the program are IT companies that create software involving photorealistic real time 3D scene visualisation and its potential customers are developers of computer games, automated designs, and special effects.