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This page has a selection of my oldest raytracing experiments, some of which probably date back to 1991. Computers were slow back then, so don't go expecting any hi-res miracles! Many of them represent an attempt to try something new, scene development stemming from modelling or texturing features that I'd never used before. The images aren't in any particular order (chronological or otherwise).

(Note: some of these images are blurry, for two reasons: firstly, I didn't have a 24-bit display so all my output files had to be dithered into 8-bit indexed images for viewing. Smoothing was an attempt to reverse the dithering. Secondly, I didn't use anti-aliasing because it took too long. Smoothing was an attempt to correct the jaggies.)

Some of the images are thumbnail links; click to see larger versions where applicable!

My first use of procedural texturing, and bump normals. The mirrors are slightly washed-out because I didn't know to set ambient light to 0. Rendered with an early version of RayShade.
Studded orb
Rendered with an early version of RayShade.
M.C.Escher's Relativity lithograph is not an optical illusion. It is conceptually confusing because it plays with the viewer's sense of up and down, but it is a perfectly self-consistent 3D structure. There's no easy way to model this kind of scene, so I did it the hard way - traced the picture out of a book, and divided it up on my sketch into discrete boxes, counting steps in x,y and z to work out all the dimensions. Rendered with an early version of RayShade.
Columns and pool
Part of a school art project. Very simple geometry; it probably looks its best at this resolution. Rendered with an early version of RayShade.
Waiting room
Based loosely on the panelled waiting room at the dental surgery I was taken to as a child. I've given the mirrored surfaces a non-zero ambient value again, tut tut. Rendered with an early version of RayShade.
Air car
It's a great shame that this image has suffered from such bad aliasing and dithering jaggies, because it's all that I have left of a very interesting set of permutations on this theme. This would have been one of my very first POV-Ray scenes, playing with constructive solid geometry (CSG) and image-mapping (if you can just make out the detail between the engine pods).
Arched hallway
A promising idea that I might take up again. I can still see what I was trying to do in my mind's eye, surreal and spectacular.
As a long-standing Doctor Who fan, this was inevitable really.
Planet from orbit
This appears to be an extensive texturing exercise; a realistic depiction of this theme still eludes me today. It used the halo feature in POV-Ray 3.1 to simulate the atmosphere glow on the horizon, and the starfield and cloud patterns turned out quite well too.
Hills in the sky
A genuine mistake while developing another image (see below), I evidently found this sufficiently hilarious to be worth preserving for posterity.
I do believe this was my first use of CSG. Pretty trivial apart from that.
TARDIS with landscape
Experiments with heighfields.
Spotlights and general CSG practice. Although the area around the centre of the image looks quite good, the rest of it is hopelessly busy.
The starfield is a little munged; I couldn't see the problem until it had finished rendering the full-size version (no preview). The rest looks quite good, I think. This was an exercise in imagemaps, but I tend to stay away from them these days except for pictures on walls, writing etc. Please note the use of a pink sub-light to simulate the planet's glow (no radiosity in those days!).
Pumping station
This was fun. No procedural texturing at all (apart from the bump map on the desert floor), this was an attempt at detail via physical objects.
This was all about wooden objects, and the possibility of realistic glass. I don't know why I thought that making both elements of the scene so small was a good idea, though. Additionally, this appears to have suffered greatly from insufficient antialiasing. Not a complete waste of time, though.