20 Years of Digital Waterfalls and Raytracing

Bit of an artwork / technology post today, as an aside from the usual gaming posts. Today is the 20th anniversary of the ‘birth’ of Digital Waterfalls, my alter-ego name for my raytracing artwork. It was formed with an old college friend of mine Dave Bennett as a way to ‘showcase’ our digital art skills and we had a joint site for a number of years. Dave eventually started leaning towards the web design side of things (which he does full-time now), whilst I kept my raytracing as a hobby and have kept on with it, steadily developing my skills.

As a bit of a ‘celebration’, I’ve uploaded a new image to my gallery site at Digital Waterfalls, to the Traveller RPG gallery. It’s something that has been in development for a number of years (off and on), specifically how to create realistic explosions using particle systems, in a raytracer such as POV-Ray. It’s something that is particularly difficult to create in software and hammers the CPU when rendering. Using a 2.2GHz Core2-Duo laptop with 3Gb of RAM, the render takes 1-2 hours to complete, POV-Ray employing both CPU cores. I have however been experimenting with low-power single board computers, such as the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black. I’ve installed POV-Ray onto Arch Linux on the BeagleBone and left it to render, which it completed in just over 27 hours. The aim is to leave such tasks running and to hopefully use less power than running my usual Windows laptop setup. Wether it has or not, is for further investigation but its enjoyable experimenting with these things!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the image over at Digital Waterfalls, here’s to many more years raytracing!

About AlegisDownport

Musings on the Traveller RPG world, technology, astronomy and digital art.
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