Chapter 6. Basic Concepts

Table of Contents

What is Raytracing?

What is Raytracing?

Raytracing is a method of rendering, that is, creating a 2D image out of a 3D scene or model.

When raytracing a scene, the renderer shoots a hypothetical ray from the perspective of the viewer (that is, from the camera you are rendering the scene from) through each pixel in the scene. It calculates how this ray reflects and refracts from objects, the visual effects of the light sources in the scene and how atmospheric effects such as fog affect it. The scene is built up, pixel by pixel.

As you may imagine, without a camera, you cannot see anything - the camera is your eye into the scene. Furthermore, without any light, you still won't see anything - it would just be dark. Obviously, any scene intended for raytracing must include some light, an object of some kind and at least one camera.