Friday, January 7, 2011

POV-Ray Hall of Fame

POV-Ray (Persistence of Vision Raytracer) is "a high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics." It's a raytracer - a computer program used to create highly detailing 3D graphics.

The Turing Test is a theoretical test to evaluate the abilities of a computer to think and act like a human. I can imagine a visual analogue - a completely computer-generated image which no one can determine is not a photograph. Current raytraces aren't quite there yet; graphics in video games are still not quite photo-like.

But we're getting close. The POV Hall of Fame has a number of spectacularly realistic renderings. this one is a beautiful rendering of glass objects, including some liquids.

This forest image, though, is my favorite. It looks strikingly like Zeta Pass (between South Carter and Mt. Hight in the White Mountains.

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