By Anthony A. Apodaca
This is often pretty well the bible for somebody who makes use of renderman day-by-day. whether you're not a programmer this is a nice reference for these issues the programmers discuss :)
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Extra info for Advanced RenderMan: Creating CGI for Motion Pictures
6 Computing reflection vectors. When light refracts through a transparent surface, the direction of the refracted vector is computed using a well-known equation called Snell's law. This law specifies how light is bent by using the indices of refraction for the material that the light is leaving and for the material that the light is entering. The index of refraction of a material, usually denoted n (eta), is a physical constant of the material and can be looked up in physics reference books such as the CRC Handbook.
Translations are simple offsets of one coordinate system from another. Translating a point from one coordinate system to the other is done by adding a particular direction vector to the point. Translation leaves the old and new axes parallel to each other and doesn't change the size of anything. Scaling changes the size of the distance units of a coordinate system without moving the origin. Scaling is most often done uniformly, scaling all dimensions equally. If the dimensions are not scaled the same, it is called nonuniform scaling.
12 to compensate for the device's laggardness. This curve is generated by the function out = inlly, where y (gamma) is a constant chosen appropriately for the display. 4. Gamma correction restores the linearity of the image, so that linear changes in the computed light intensity will result in linear changes in the device's emitted image intensity. 5). However, passing the pixel data through a gamma curve upon display will skip over a lot of these values, and we can often see the multilevel jumps.