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About the Book

This book describes the step-by-step process of writing a ray tracer from scratch. Using numerous examples that illustrate the ray-tracing concept and processes in detail, the author presents a ray-tracer design and sample code that allows for extensibility, efficiency of the algorithms, and readability. Chapters begin with stated aims and include questions and exercises that allow the reader to apply the material presented.

Special features:

  • Describes in detail how to write a ray tracer “from the ground up”
  • Hundreds of diagrams, ray-traced images, and sample code
  • Many of the exercises involve adding features to the ray tracer
  • Many questions ask readers to think about ray traced images

| News

December 31, 2009

I have put the latest list of errata as a download on the Errata page. This is more extensive than the list on that page. Thanks to everyone who has pointed out errors. I have tried to credit all of you. I will also keep the list updated.

Kevin Suffern

April 16, 2008

I have put Chapter 31 and a revised version of the texture images on the Downloads page. (Figure 31.42 used some textures that were not included in the first version).

Kevin Suffern

March 29, 2008

I have put the texture images and Chapters 29 and 30 on the Downloads page.

Kevin Suffern

January 27, 2008

I have put Chapters 26, 27, and 28 on the Downloads page.

Kevin Suffern

December 14, 2007

I have put two new files on the Downloads page. The first contains sample code for Chapters 3-24. The second contains all the un-textured PLY files.

Kevin Suffern

September 25, 2007

Welcome to the website for the book Ray Tracing from the Ground Up. You can download the ray traced images, the illustrations, skeleton ray tracers, a sample chapter, and a set of animations.

There will also be individual downloads for Chapters 3-31. These contain the ray traced images, and build functions for most of the images. Build functions are C++ code files for constructing scenes.

Several chapter downloads contain additional images, additional C++ code, triangle mesh data, and texture images. There are currently downloads available for chapters 3 - 10.

You can report mistakes in the book and bugs in the code by e-mailing me at the address on the contact page. You can also e-mail me about other ray tracing matters.

If you would like to be notified when I've put new material on this site, please subscribe to the mailing list, which will be enabled shortly. I'm currently working on the remaining chapter downloads.

Kevin Suffern


Ray traced images
Ray Traced Images (125Mb)
Animations (74Mb)