Make a 3D rendered mosaic and win an iPod

2011-03-26 at 10:39 | Posted in Computer path | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

At we have a brand new bunch of mosaic types, better and prettier than the previous ones. To celebrate we are making a contest. So if you are creative just go to, make a mosaic for free, upload it to facebook and wait for the people to vote. If you win an iPod will be yours!. Here are some of the new mosaics:

Mosaics mosaics mosaics

2011-02-21 at 17:36 | Posted in Computer path | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

After some fine tuning, the mosaics produced by the Raydiant engine at are now showing for what they are: full global illumination 3D renders. Try any of this images at full resolution and see for yourself. And remember to do it with your photos for free at Also there is a new improved web interface.

Cute mosaic for you

2011-01-29 at 17:55 | Posted in Computer path | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

After some time at last a public server is ready to attend petitions for personalized mosaics rendered with Raydiant engine. There are almost 300 different configurations to choose from. The resulting mosaic can have up to 24 megapixels. No need to register, just configure your mosaic (the finnish method ‘Realistic’ is a full-fledge-no-tricks global illumination render of the composed mosaic), upload your photo and specify the mail where you want to receive the finished mosaic. Your feedback is most welcome. The web in question is Let me know if you find it fun!


2010-09-26 at 17:02 | Posted in Computer path | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Next Thursday begins matArte exhibit. It is hosted by ‘Cafe de la prensa’ at Seville, c/Betis 8. Features 13 synthetic images obtained through maths and patience. Below is the official poster, also rendered with the Raydiant engine. I’ll be there October the second from 6:00 PM. It’s exciting to have this opportunity to share visual maths though computer power. Perhaps those who know numbers are beautiful will enjoy it and those who still don’t could shift their belief.

How to create 3D True Type text

2010-09-11 at 21:36 | Posted in Computer path | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I use Raydiant mainly as a procedural builder & renderer so having the ability to write 3D true types makes things more spicy. Allowing for easily (meaning procedurally) introducing all kind of sings and messages. I though it was going to be a piece of cake. Sure I can take a TTF and build a 3D volume accordingly, it will take 2 or 3 days.

As it became clear a week later it was going to be a little more trouble than I previewed, and also a lot more fun!. If you want to also add this functionality to some software this is what I did:

  • First your have to use some kind of API to get the outlines and holes the TTFs are made off. Depending on your SO and your lib of choice your will receive different kinds of data. I will suppose in this example that you can get a list of poly lines (lets call it PL) for any text string you want to draw. These polygons can be convex and also they can mean outlines or holes. As I learned the hard way these polys can also mutually intersect when 2 characters are next to each other and have unusual shapes (like hand writing fonts for example). The text is supposed to be aligned with the front plane at building time. A left-handed reference system will be used (positive Y goes upward, positive X goes to the right and positive Z goes ahead.
  • Create text sides: for each PL poly line segment build a square polygon having that segment as a side and as opposite side the same segment a little further away (increased Z). The Z increment defines the thickness of the final 3D text. Decompose each square into 2 triangles and we have the sides triangle list.
  • Now the thing to do is characterized every PL poly line so you can later build a 3D volume from them. First some definitions:
    • outline:
      • polygon with every vertex outside every other polygon
      • or polygon with every vertex immediately inside a hole polygon (there isn’t any polygon between it and the hole polygon)
      • or the polygon with more vertex not inside any polygon.
    • hole: polygon with every vertex immediately inside an outline.
    • a polygon A is considered to be immediately inside another B if and only if A has every vertex inside B and it does not exist a polygon C that contains A and is contained by B.
  • Assumption: the polygons intersect each other only slightly (actually this is a very bad math definition, but it works for me).
  • Algorithm:
    • 1. Find the mutual inclusion relation between every 2 PL poly lines.
    • 2. For each poly A which is not included by any other:
      • 2.a. Find all PL poly lines B[…] immediately inside A.
      • 2.b. Triangulate A as an outline with holes = B[…], accumulate triangles into front face and back face triangle list. The only difference between these 2 lists is a Z increment equal to the desired text thickness.
      • 2.c. Delete A and B […] from the list of polys and update inclusion of the rest of the polys.
  • How to triangulate a polygon with holes: this a well covered aspect on computational literature. The one that finally did the trick for me is an horizontal decomposition as described by Seidel (1991) extended to handle holes.
  • After all the effort at last you have 3 lists (sides list, front face list and back face list) defining 3D polyhedrons confined by triangles. This should be very easy to draw using any 3D API.

First picture is a example of what you get from a TTF API. Spheres mark the first vertex of each poly line (at the back a disastrous fill attempt shows why is necessary to triangulate). Then some wire-frame front face triangulations made with the described procedure, some 3D wire frames and some HQ renders from Raydiant engine:

The king of the potato people does let me

2010-08-24 at 18:14 | Posted in Computer path | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Firstly, this picture is an evolution of ‘The king of the potato people won’t let me’ (which you can see in the ‘Art’ tab of this blog). This new version has been rendered using the new Raydiant engine. It has much better quality (36 megapixel) so it can be printed at large sizes with high fidelity. This also allows for the potato people to be seen in better detail. And this is the kind of image that needs to be seen on big formats to be enjoyed. Has plenty of mysterious little ester eggs buried all along its green maze. The procedural generation of this image has led to the debugging of several pretty nasty and hard to find bugs on Raydiant, which is now more stable and also appreciably faster than before. May be I’ll post a real time interactive exploration demo for Linux (which is already working well in Raydiant). This picture has extended life time once printed, you can easily spend hours visually exploring its extremely detailed maze. Here are some zooms:

Custom probability distribution: fist of death update pack

2010-06-10 at 18:00 | Posted in Computer path | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You probably remember that post where a symbolic way to obtain your pseudorandom number generator with custom probability distribution from a homogenous pseudorandom number generator (= a normal one like for example the standard C function rand()) was shown. Just in case it is here. That’s all good but it uses integrals. So now and then, depending on the custom probability distribution you want, it is not practical/possible to symbolically integrate the formula. For example for discontinuous probability distributions or something waving (like the image at the bottom) it may not work. What to do in those cases?. If you want it bad you can have it with some numeric integration. Basically you supply the code with your desired probability density function then the code does its magic and you can now get your crazily distributed pseudorandom numbers. All along this code ‘t’ is used to designate pseudorandom numbers with the custom probability density and ‘r’ pseudorandom numbers with nominal constant probability density of 1. I’ve extracted just the interesting parts from my tProbabilityDistributionCrusher class so object bureaucracy is lost in favour of clarity. Here is the initialization code full of useful annotations:

 * this table is used to store values of:
 *    r = definite integral of E(x) between x=0 and x=t.
 *    (see 'Raydiant: custom probability distribution' post)
 * The first element holds the value of the integral for t
 * just greater than 0, the last element holds the
 * value of the integral for t just less than 1.
 * Any two consecutive elements have associated t values (not
 * stored) separated exactly by 1.0/areaFrom0ToEachT.count.
 tArray *areaFrom0ToEachT;

 /** areaFrom0ToEachT.count */
 double realTableCount;

 /** inverse of areaFrom0ToEachT.count */
 double inverseTableCount;

 * stepPrecisionCount is the number of steps used for numeric
 * integration, choose too few and that would give bad
 * quality, choose to many and accumulative errors may grow
 * high (but even for 10000000 they have been found to be
 * negligible).
 * Before compiling this function you must define your
 * custom probability function customProbabilityDensityFunction()
 * with anything you want
void init(int integrationSteps)
   // misc initialization
   realTableCount = integrationSteps;
   inverseTableCount = double(1.0/realTableCount);
   // just use your favourite array class here:
   areaFrom0ToEachT = new tArray(integrationSteps);
   areaFrom0ToEachT->count = integrationSteps;

   // fill numeric definite integration table
   double area = 0;
   for(int i=1;i<=integrationSteps;++i)
      double t = double(i)*inverseTableCount;// (0,1]
      assert(0.0<t && t<=1.0);
      double height = customProbabilityDensityFunction(t);
      area += inverseTableCount*height;
      (*areaFrom0ToEachT)[i-1] = area;

   // lets normalize the area to 1.0
   double invArea = double(1.0/area);
   for(int i=0;i<integrationSteps;++i)
      (*areaFrom0ToEachT)[i] *= invArea;

Here is an example definition of customProbabilityDensityFunction():

 * this defines a waving probability distribution, t is
 * espected to be in the interval (0,1]
double customProbabilityDensityFunction(const double& t)
   return 0.1+cos(20.0*t)+1.0;

And now this is how to obtain the pseudorandom numbers:

 * returns a random number with the custom probability
 * density function
double get_t()
   // get the nominal random number
   assert(areaFrom0ToEachT && int(realTableCount)==areaFrom0ToEachT->count);
   // rnd() must return a normal psudorandom number in the interval [0,1) :
   double r = rnd();

   // find where r is at our integration table, a plain binary search
   // is performed here and lower bound ndx returned:
   int ndx = areaFrom0ToEachT->getLowerBoundBinarySearch(r);

   // deal with extreme values
      return 0.9999999999999;// just under 1.0
      return 0;
   assert(0<ndx && ndxcount);

   // lets calc two bounding t values for that place at our
   // integration table
   double t0 = double(ndx)*inverseTableCount;
   assert(0.0<t0 && t0<1.0);
   double t1 = double(ndx+1)*inverseTableCount;
   assert(0.0<t1 && t1<=1.0);

   // lets find the master interpolation coefficient between the
   // two bounding t values
   double complementaryFractional01 =
   assert(0.0<=complementaryFractional01 && complementaryFractional01<1.0);
   double interpolatedT =
   assert(0.0<interpolatedT && interpolatedT<1.0);
   return interpolatedT;

With this code you could easily obtain probability distributions like this one:

Good luck and thanks for listening!

Intimacity, rare tracks

2010-06-08 at 17:11 | Posted in Computer path | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Over a hundred renders of the Intimacity landscape have been performed till now. Two of them have made it to the final stage and won the price (the price meaning being rendered at HQ and published at deviant art here and here) and at least one more is following soon (waiting for a Zalman cooling device for my main PC and another i7 is coming so I can keep programming while rendering with it). But there are a few of the unselected renders that are still interesting. Thankyou all for the support!

Closer fold-the-bar-three-leaf-clover

2010-06-01 at 17:56 | Posted in Computer path | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Here, some close up views of this HQ render. These zooms have still pretty good resolution. The Raydiant engine uses no short cuts with global illumination, all effort is put to optimize the real worse case scenario. Make sure to view the images full size.

The opposite river bank, zooms

2010-05-19 at 18:43 | Posted in Computer path | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A new picture has been added to the collection at the art tab. Its name is ‘The opposite river bank’, depicts a copper veined marble landscape based on a variant of Alberto’s Maze function. These are some zoomed details of the high definition printable version here. The Raydiant engine has been used to render it. This particular view of the scenario was obtained during a real time full global illumination interactive walk.

« Previous PageNext Page »

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.