Chapter One Introduction

Rendering is the process of producing a 2D image from a description of a 3D scene. Obviously, this is a very broad task, and there are many ways to approach it. Physically based techniques attempt to simulate reality; that is, they use principles of physics to model the interaction of light and matter. In physically based rendering, realism is usually the primary goal. This approach is in contrast to interactive rendering, which sacrifices realism for high performance and low latency, or nonphotorealistic rendering, which strives for artistic freedom and expressiveness.

This book describes pbrt, a physically based rendering system based on the ray-tracing algorithm. Most computer graphics books present algorithms and ...

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