Scanline and Raytraced Rendering

By default, the Maya Software renderer operates in a scanline mode. The scanline process operates with these basic steps:

  • Surfaces visible to the rendering camera are noted. Occlusion of one surface by another is taken into account.
  • Polygon faces of the visible surfaces are projected into 2D screen space. The faces are processed in scanline order. A scanline is a row of pixels within a render. (Technically speaking, a pixel is a sample point that carries an x, y coordinate and a color value; for an image to be stored in a digital system, it must be broken down into a discrete number of pixels.) Hence, a 1280×720 render has 720 scanlines (with each scanline possessing 1280 pixels).
  • The final color of each pixel ...

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