>>>Given that, however, the shiny ship's reflections were _amazing_ so were
>>>they using reflection maps or raytracing? Since PRMan isn't a
>>>raytracer, either they also employed BMRT (or their own raytracer) as a
>>>rayserver or they used something else.
>> I'm not aware that they did this, and I'm not sure why they would.
>> I saw nothing in the film that I didn't think would be quite easy
>> to do with ordinary environment maps. (I'm not sure why, exactly,
>> you thought they were *amazing*, but that's almost always a giveaway
>> that it was an environment map, since they are much less prone to
>> sampling errors and aliasing than are traced rays.)
>the ship reflections were done using ElectricImage Animation System. And it
>was raytraced. Search on DejaNews for Mark Granger if you want more
Hi. Just a clarification...
The question I responded to asked if BMRT was used to raytrace the
ship. As author of BMRT, I replied that I was unaware that it was.
Furthermore, from my viewing of SW:TPM, I didn't see any reason to
assume that it was ray traced -- specifically, the vast majority
of shots only reflected backgrounds that I assume were live action
or paintings, rather than other CG objects.
Our experience at Pixar is that very few things have to be ray traced.
In fact, we've only once ray traced an object in our films, even
though most people think that anything reflective or refractive must
be ray traced. Environment maps in the right hands are almost always
superior in speed and flexibility, and rarely are objectionally
I did search for Mark Granger as you suggested, and there was one
article that indicated that at least some shots of the shiny ship were
ray traced. To wit, "...it was used to render the queen's reflective
spaceship for several shots." This is worded in such a way that it's
entirely possible that this was done for a few shots that needed ray
tracing, but that others (perhaps even the majority) were done in some
other manner. I don't know.
Incidentally, about this Electric Image flap, I understand where
they're coming from (having had this happen to me on occasion). Let
me again stress that the product credits at the end of films are *not*
an acknowledgement that a particular piece of hardware or software was
used. Rather, it is a contractual obligation in exchange for a
certain (usually large) amount of freebies, arranged ahead of time.
Yes, it would be a better world if films actually tried to acknowledge
contributions, with no strings attached, and without trying to*
people out of credits just because they realized too late that it had
to be in the contract. Yes, it would be great of LucasFilm (or other
well known companies) took the lead in this kind of fair treatment.
But the EI situation is not at all unique, and they've been around
long enough that I'm surprised that they're still kind of naive about
this stuff. If you want credit, get it in writing *before* doing all
the extra work.
Larry Gritz Pixar Animation Studios