For those of us old and geeky enough to remember, ray tracing first became the buzz word of the moment back in 1987 around the time the wonderful Commodore Amiga was blazing a trail and pushing the boundaries of photorealistic graphics. Everyone around that time would have seen and marvelled at all the beautiful still images and animations of reflecting balls and the like.
Since the then the realism of both pre-rendered and “live” graphics in films and computer games has got to the point where photorealistic CGI is the norm and taken for granted. Even ground breaking films such as Avatar were more hyped for the 3D effects rather than the completely seamless use of amazing CGI that was so good that it was impossible in most scenes to know if it was a computer generated or real images.
Now it is 2011 and ray tracing is back on the agenda as the buzz word of the moment – and this time it won’t just be the preserve of the techno geeks…
Yesterday the Mountain View based firm Lytro launched the first wave of their campaign to make their Light Field Camera the next big thing in the world of digital photography. And looking at what this new technology can do – it certainly looks like they will have a massive hit on their hands!
There are quite a few benefits to this new technology – that relies heavily on traditional ray tracing techniques – but the feature that will appeal to most users is the ability to “shoot first, focus after”. Check out the “live” photo gallery and play around with demo images and shift the focal point to your heart’s content. Amazing!
Other benefits are a complete lack of shutter lag and amazing low light capability (meaning that you don’t need a flash) – just think how these two features alone could transform picture quality on a smartphone.
So register your interest now if you want to be part of the next wave of ray tracing madness.