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Rendered Artwork
Here is some of my computer rendered artwork.
“Factory” - old version: TrueSpace 3.1, 12/25/97; new version: POV-Ray 3.6.1, 5/21/06
This design is based on my old 1989 “Factory” drawing. POV-Ray (Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer) is a free ray tracing program that uses a Scene Description Language (SDL) with Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) to program scenes. The illusion of lights was created using small discs in front of the camera, similar to Nathan Kopp’s lens flare include file.

POV-Ray Links
Internet Ray Tracing Competition (IRTC) - tons of POV-Ray code and animations
POVCOMP - POV-Ray competition, see the Hall of Fame
Short Code Contests: #3 (2004), #4 (2006), #5 (animations, 2008) - images created with minimal POV-Ray code
Fractal Contest
Rune Johansen - excellent animations, include files, particles, etc.
Chris Colefax - nice include files
Tim Wenclawiak - animations, include files
MegaPOV 1.1 - free POV-Ray physics enhancements by Christoph Hormann
Mike Williams’ POV-Ray Tutorial - isosurfaces, parametric plots, etc.
Useful Objects - trees, plants, bugs, space, fire
free mpeg and avi encoders - useful for making your own movies

Family Tree, AutoCAD 2000, POV-Ray 3.6.1, Adobe Photoshop 5.0, 6/8/08
This was a family tree design I made for my wife. The leaves were taken from our avocado plant. See also my tree simulation.

old version: TrueSpace 3.1, Adobe Photoshop 5.0, 7/5/03; new version: POV-Ray 3.6.1, 7/1/06
This was my attempt to draw a vertical panoramic view of the scene described in Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, “A Descent Into the Maelström”, a tall tale about a seaman’s confrontation with the giant Norwegian whirlpool Moskstraumen. The scene is viewed from deep within the vortex with the Moon directly overhead. The boat was modelled by fitting triangles to profile interpolations. See also my Maelström autostereogram.

“At the same moment the roaring noise of the water was completely drowned in a kind of shrill shriek - such a sound as you might imagine given out by the waste-pipes of many thousand steam-vessels, letting off their steam all together. We were now in the belt of surf that always surrounds the whirl ; and I thought, of course, that another moment would plunge us into the abyss - down which we could only see indistinctly on account of the amazing velocity with which we wore borne along. The boat did not seem to sink into the water at all, but to skim like an air-bubble upon the surface of the surge. Her starboard side was next the whirl, and on the larboard arose the world of ocean we had left. It stood like a huge writhing wall between us and the horizon.”
“Never shall I forget the sensations of awe, horror, and admiration with which I gazed about me. The boat appeared to be hanging, as if by magic, midway down, upon the interior surface of a funnel vast in circumference, prodigious in depth, and whose perfectly smooth sides might have been mistaken for ebony, but for the bewildering rapidity with which they spun around, and for the gleaming and ghastly radiance they shot forth, as the rays of the full moon, from that circular rift amid the clouds which I have already described, streamed in a flood of golden glory along the black walls, and far away down into the inmost recesses of the abyss.”
- Edgar Allen Poe

Whirlpool - impressive animation for the POV-Ray Short Code Contest, by Alex Kluchikov
Tourbillon barrage de la Rance - large whirlpool

Tesla Coil - old version: TrueSpace 3.1, 1/9/98; new version: POV-Ray 3.6.1, 6/24/06
Here is a Tesla coil showing the magnetic field when the primary and secondary coils are out of phase. The sparks were adapted from Gilles Tran’s tree macro. See also my motor animation.

Link: POV-Ray Sparks - uses MegaPOV’s glow function by Rune Johansen

“Passion Flower” - Mathematica 4.2, 5/17/04
This Passion Flower (Passiflora x belotii) was constructed in Mathematica from a series of math equations. This is my favorite flower. It is called a “Passion Flower” because it is symbolic of the crucifixion of Jesus. Click here to see a rotatable 3D version.

Mathematica Artwork Links
Natalina Shell - by Ramiro Perez
Snailshell - parametric formula by Traudel Karcher
Apple Surface - by Mike Williams
Apple Surface - by Paul Bourke
Anomalocaris animation - by Jeff Bryant
Jet - by David Altherr
Lava Lamp and Luge Ride - by Robert Rudd

Black Hole - TrueSpace 3.1, 12/15/97
This image was generated by revolving an inverse curve and applying a skewed sinusoidal bump map. Here is some code to plot this picture in Mathematica without using bump mapping:
(* runtime: 6 seconds *)
ParametricPlot3D[{r Sin[theta], r Cos[theta], 0.01Sin[7(4r - theta)] - 0.1/r, EdgeForm[]}, {r, 0.1, Sqrt[2]}, {theta, 0, 2Pi}, PlotRange -> {{-1, 1}, {-1, 1}, {-1, 0}}, PlotPoints -> {50, 360}, Boxed -> False, Axes -> None]

Tornado - TrueSpace 3.1, 1/8/98
This image was generated using the same “Black Hole” image shown above, except viewed from the bottom.

Ray Tracing Links
Blender - Free ray tracing program. I haven’t had time to try it yet, but I hear it’s very good.
Cosmic Blobs - easy 3D modeling for kids
UCSD Rendering Competition - Students write their own ray tracers: 2003, 2004, 2005. Hosted by Henrik Jensen (the guy who invented photon mapping).
Stanford Rendering Competition - I haven’t even had time to examine these in detail yet, but they also look impressive.

Rendered Movie Links
One person can make stunning movies these days. I don’t know if I’ll ever learn how to do it, but I would sure like to.
Lots of Robots - Andy Murdock made this movie all by himself using 3DS Max. See also Rocket Pants and his other shorts.
Delivery - by Till Nowak using 3DS Max
Mars Rover Movie - by Dan Maas
Rust Boy - Brian Taylor’s movie project. He started it purely as a hobbyist.
Gavin Miller - animations and graphics
Pixar’s Short Movies - you can watch these movies online