TITLE: The Mathematics of Horror
NAME: Chris Jeppesen
COUNTRY: USA
EMAIL: chrisj@digiquill.com
WEBPAGE: http://www.kwansystems.org/
TOPIC: Horror
COPYRIGHT: I SUBMIT TO THE STANDARD RAYTRACING COMPETITION COPYRIGHT.
JPGFILE: cdjmath.jpg
ZIPFILE: cdjmath.zip
RENDERER USED:
POV-Ray 3.1g MSVC compile
TOOLS USED:
Galaxy include File from Chris Colefax
Paint Shop Pro 5.01 for PNG->JPG conversion
RENDER TIME:
About 6 hours modelling
1 hour 30 minutes 45 seconds rendering
HARDWARE USED:
AMD K6-2 300MHz 192MB memory
IMAGE DESCRIPTION:
Im not normally one afraid of math, but one day I was assigned a problem that
just
scared me to death: Find the maximum of a certain curve. Not just any curve,
but
THE BLACKBODY CURVE
It is evil. It is hideous. It is horrifying. I did battle with it for 4 hours in
a row, and it won. Not only did it defeat me, but everyone in my class!
This image depicts the infamous equation, its graph, and the mental images
inspired
by it. The figure hanging by his neck from the curve represents the problem's
solution.
The heavy chains symbolize the multiple iterations of the chain rule required to
solve
it. The cleaver depicts what I wanted to do to this equation.
This image is dedicated to Ludwig Boltzmann (1844-1906), whose grave is depicted
here. He
discovered Boltzmann's constant, the 'k' in the equation. While he was alive, he
made some
important advances in theroetical thermodynamics, but no one believed him. It
drove him to
depression and eventually suicide. He had engraved on his tombstone the central
equation to
his theory, which was experimentally verified a few short days after his death.
Mathematics by itself is ugly, dull, and boring. It is only when math is put to
its true
purpose does it become interesting, and that purpose is making pretty pictures!
Long live
raytracing!
DESCRIPTION OF HOW THIS IMAGE WAS CREATED:
I have known about this topic for a full year, and didn't think I was going to
do anything
for it. The inspiration didn't hit until 10/27, when this exact same problem was
assigned
in both Infrared detection class and Fiber Optics class.
Since the undercurrent theme of this image is Mathematics, I wanted to use only
primitives
in this drawing. This image is composed of nothing but spheres, cones,
cylinders,
superellipsoids, prisms, (truetype gets converted into prisms internally)
toruses, and
julia fractals. No image maps, no height fields, nothing but unadulterated math
in its most beautiful and haunting purity.
Its all CSG, done one piece at a time in the POV-Ray editor. First I did the
equation, then
the graph using a while loop and the actual blackbody formula. The hanging
figure was next.
I copied him from a project I did a few weeks ago, and posed him apropriately.
Next came the
grave, with its engraving done by CSG difference, and a Julia fractal for a
flower. I wanted
a foundation to put the image on, so next was the green grid. The torus pumpkin,
carved with
the Kwan Systems logo is my signature and a symbol of Halloween, the most
horrifying of
holidays. Next came the chains, which were made again with a while loop, and
draped over
the d/dl symbol by eye. The cleaver was the last object created. The image
needed some kind
of background, so I added some stars. The image then reched the point when one
more object
would ruin it. So I stopped.
When this image was rendered, anti aliasing had to be turned up to something
absurdly high
(+a0.001 +am2 +r3) before all the jaggies on the equation were eliminated. This
raised the
image rendering time tenfold to something respectable for an IRTC entry.
Complete source code is available, except for the Kwan Systems logo.