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The Ray Tracer Challenge

4.64  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Brace yourself for a fun challenge: build a photorealistic 3D renderer from scratch! It’s easier than you think. In just a couple of weeks, build a ray tracer that renders beautiful scenes with shadows, reflections, brilliant refraction effects, and subjects composed of various graphics primitives: spheres, cubes, cylinders, triangles, and more. With each chapter, implemen ...more
ebook, Beta, 270 pages
Published February 10th 2019 by The Pragmatic Programmers (first published December 11th 2018)
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Sten Anderson
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've always had an interest in computer graphics, and although I'm an experienced programmer, I've always found the topic daunting to approach. While there is certainly no shortage of books on rendering and ray tracing I would often struggle to get to a workable implementation that I could understand. The challenge for me had always been, how do I start with nothing and create even a baseline Ray Tracer in discrete steps? Forget anti-aliasing and reflections, if my first render is a blank image, ...more
Gábor László Hajba
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great book for programmers. Instead of giving you code, Jamis invites you on a language-agnostic and test-driven journey to explore how a ray tracer works. I learned a lot, and I will use the exercises of this book to learn new programming languages.
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
[Note: This review regards the first printed paperback version]

I bought this book on the 31st May and it sat on my desk for a few weeks whilst wrapping up other work. On the 2nd July I made my first first commit and I've spent almost all my free time up until the start of August working through it. I originally intended to blog a sort of mini-series as I progressed, but that went out of the window after the first commit - I was utterly enthralled by the challenge and didn't stop for such mundane
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I made the ubiquitous teapot. And I'm proud of the result. The BDD/ TDD based Cucumber approach was magic, so much so that after doing it once in my main language (PHP) I'm going to see how good it is at teaching me a new language (RUST).

The book is hand-holding almost all the way through, with the end getting right tricky and pointy. Almost everything has a cucumber test case along side it, which is great for being able to verify results without needing in depth calculations to figure out if yo
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is now one of my favorite programming books! Not only is it a methodical building-block-approach to learning how ray tracers work, but it's a genuinely good way to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of a programming language. For myself, I used Go after a year of learning it on the side -- this posed challenges because of its lack of OO inheritance, default/optional arguments, etc., and solving those challenges was equally as fun as implementing the ray tracer itself. The bonus chap ...more
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good progression and a very fun project - enjoyed it a lot. Caveat, though: it is absolutely possible to go through the whole book and still have only a fuzzy understanding of how a ray tracer actually works.
May 11, 2022 rated it really liked it
It's a cool book if you ever wondered how ray tracing works It's from first principles Also math! lots of math ...more
Steven Behnke
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it

This is a great introduction to building a Ray Tracer. The test driven approach gives you confidence along the way that your code is correct.
Oleg Prozorov
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: programming
I loved this book. I liked that the book is language agnostic and for each feature you are at first presented with a test, description how to make it pass and only then with pseudo code. I was coding along and absolutely enjoyed the book.

Here is my code
in scala https://github.com/oleg/raytracer
and in go https://github.com/oleg/raytracer-go
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