This picture created in 2005 is a synthetic (or "virtual") image I made on my Macintosh using Persistence Of Vision (POV) Ray-tracing. The image is built geometrically, using so-called "Constructive Spatial Geometry".
All the objects are created and assembled by geometrical programming using POV. A virtual camera and virtual light sources are then set, and the picture is created ("rendered") by "ray tracing". By moving the camera around, you can take any number of 3D pictures of the same scene (see the house project), including panoramic views. You can also make animated GIFs (see the moving train). Textures and patterns are programmed with POV.
The real Mac fans will notice that the iMac G4 is a little simplified. The screen itself is a dump from my own Mac.
The Orient Express
The Apple keyboard with its 110 keys took me five days to create...
The Oxford college
The Italian villa
In this other picture, 4 items are imported in form of "Image Maps": these are the Tintin picture on the wall, the photo on the desk, the apple logo on the pencil holder, and the "Happy New Year" text on the desk. The other items are all constructed geometrically.
I have borrowed some of the wooden textures from Dan Farmer and Paul Novak. These are supplied together with the (free of charge) ray tracing software of POV.
I created all the other objects: the column, the table, the paperweight, the pencil holder and the picture frames, and assembled them to this picture. It took me about three days (in 1999)...
On my MacBook Pro (2018) the desk picture is rendered in 9 seconds. On the previous MacBook (2011), it took 38 s, on my Macintosh G4 with biprocessor at 1 GHz (2002), it took 3 minutes 17 seconds in a 1024 x 768 pixel size. On my Mac 8500 (1998), it took one to two hours, and on my old Mac IIci (1993), rendering the same image could take as long as a full day... The desk image is a compressed jpeg of 1024 x 768 pixels. The plant and the tree are based on a file by Jean-Laurent Pradel (1998), which I have slightly modified. There are 21 parameters to play with and change the style of the tree. You may see six examples in this page with different settings. The result looks somewhat artificial, but the image renders quite fast, because the algorithm used to create it is very compact, which does not mean it is simple.
|The house project
45 pictures of my house on its island, all made from the same file but with various settings (notably point of view and light type), including several 360° panoramic views.
Several organic molecules (glucose, aspirin, caffeine, and more) and crystal structures drawn with POV are shown in a second page.
|Pictures from others
I have found excellent ray-traced images made by other artists, modified several of them. You can see them in a third page.
The music, if you have clicked on the icon at the top, is the first movement of J.S. Bach's concerto BVW1065 for 4 harpsichords (see my music page).