Distributed Ray Tracing In An Open Source Environment

Gunnar Johansson
Linköping University, Sweden

Ola Nilsson
Linköping University, Sweden

Andreas Söderström
Linköping University, Sweden

Ken Museth
Linköping University, Sweden

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Ingår i: SIGRAD 2006. The Annual SIGRAD Conference; Special Theme: Computer Games

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 19:2, s. 7–11

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Publicerad: 2006-11-22


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


We present work in progress on concurrent ray tracing with distributed computers using “off-the-shelf” open source software. While there exists numerous open source ray tracers; very few offer support for state-of-the-art concurrent computing. However; it is a well known fact that ray tracing is computationally intensive and yet prevails as the preferred algorithm for photorealistic rendering. Thus; the current work is driven by a desire for a simple programming strategy (or recipe) that allows pre-existing ray tracing code to be parallelized on a heterogenous cluster of available office computers - strictly using open source components. Simplicity; stability; efficiency and modularity are the driving forces for this engineering project; and as such we do not claim any novel research contributions. However; we stress that this project grew out of a real-world need for a render cluster in our research group; and consequently our solutions have a significant practical value. In fact some of our results show a close to optimal speedup when considering the relative performances of each node. In this systems paper we aim at sharing these solutions and experiences with other members of the graphics community.

CR Categories: I.3.2 [Computer Graphics]: Graphic Systems—Distributed/Network Graphics D.1.3 [Programming Techniques]: Concurrent Programming—Distributed Programming


distributed ray tracing; render farm; open source


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