3D ellipsoids: rendering and collision detection

September 18, 2018

Added ellipsoids to the set of objects supported by the simple Whitted style ray tracer [1] we developed for the CMDA 3634 course @Virginia Tech for Fall 2018. 


To detect collisions between sphere and ellipsoids we use a Newton based algorithm for finding the nearest point on an ellipsoid to another point from Robert Nümberg using his notes. Remarkably it appears to have worked perfectly first time!

 

[1] Whitted, T., 1979, August. An improved illumination model for shaded display. In ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics (Vol. 13, No. 2, p. 14). ACM.

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