RAYflect Phototracer

Phototracer is a RAYflect plug-in for Photoshop (Windows / Mac).

The basic idea was to provide the Photoshop user with a complete 3D renderer interacting with Photoshop’s layers. Phototracer includes a realtime preview (wire, flat, Gouraud) and a top quality hybrid renderer. Hybrid renderers are a mix of scanline-based algorithms and raytracers. In Phototracer, the raytracer’s first hit is accelerated by a scanline. Following rays are accelerated by an OSS structure (a space partitioning technique). Geometric antialiasing is performed by an A-Buffer, texture antialiasing is performed by bilinear filtering and summed-area tables (SAT). Phototracer also supports bump mapping, instant rendering (same as the G-Buffers in MAX), multiple lights, multiple reflection and refraction levels, has a customized UI, some neat manipulators (virtual sphere and so on), and I just can’t remember everything since that’s a strong feature-packed plug in.

I wrote the scanline algorithm (which was reported to be "surprisingly fast" by most reviewers), the A-Buffer, and I designed a compressed 3D format since the objects were supposed to be fast to download. I read Michael Deering’s paper about mesh compression in SIGGRAPH’95, and I had better results with my own algorithms, used in Phototracer.




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