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Vol.32 No.1 February 1999

Non-Photorealistic Rendering

Karen Sullivan
Computer Graphics Cover Editor

February 99 Columns
From the Editor Entertaining the Future

Karen Sullivan
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The Front Cover

The top image is a wireframe rendering of the 3D geometry used to create the second cartoon image below. It shows the type of data used to create a non-photorealistic image.

The bottom image is a 3D “toon,” rendered using mental ray™ and custom software extensions developed by Michael Arias to enable simulation of cel animated imagery. With the exception of color corrections, no image processing or compositing techniques were used to render the final image - “ink” lines, shadows, highlights and reflection are all ray traced, and the “nebulae” in the background as well as the robot’s headlight beam are volume rendered using a ray-marching algorithm. Scene geometry was modeled by Tim Stevenson (ILM) using SOFTIMAGE 3D, and composed and rendered by Arias using mental ray running in parallel on a two-processor DEC Alpha workstation.

The toon rendering software was initially developed by Arias to support two feature film projects, The Princess Mononoke and Prince of Egypt. The ultimate goal of the toon software development was to allow insertion of 3D-rendered elements into imagery otherwise created using “traditional” cel-animation media. Toon rendering algorithms were the subject of a technical sketch presented at SIGGRAPH 96 by Arias.

Stevenson and SOFTIMAGE have graciously given permission for the “Orbit” models to be used for this publication.

Front cover text provided by Michael Arias

Contact information:

Michael Arias
SOFTIMAGE Special Projects

Karen Sullivan
12417 Riverglen Dr.
Riverview, FL 33569

Tel: +1-813-677-4553

The copyright of articles and images printed remains with the author unless otherwise indicated.

Back Cover

The back cover is a series 16 frames of an animation showing non-photorealistic ectoplasm, lava lamp, generic ooze and smoke — modeled as isodensity surfaces, animated using particle simulation and rendered using proprietary ray tracing software.

Contact Information:

Wilson Tang
c/o Trilogy Inc.
Nagashimaya-PARABO-Jingumae Bldg. 6F
Jingumae Shibuya-ku 6-23-2
Tokyo, Japan 150-0001

Fax: +81-3-5468-6765