J. Turner Whitted's 1979 RSOCP, with red and yellow checks and glass and
metal spheres, though a breakthrough in computer graphics at the time,
looks antiquated by today's ray tracing standards. In fact, it looks
kinda like my first year renders.
I don't remember where I first saw this motif. One possibility that
came to mind was Fabian Mosen's submission to the IRTC for
November-December 1997; but his image lacks the glass sphere, and my
early interpretations in 2004 did have a glass object. It seems I had
seen this motif elsewhere, and only remembered the IRTC submission due
to the clever setting. (And also, I cannot unsee the child's toes.)
But I figure it's time for an update, this time with more realistic
glass and metal, and with a prefab environment containing many of the
lessons I've learned over the past 19 years. The image cliche-ry.jpg is
my 2004 interpretation; at the time, I thought the 1979 image had a
lens, probably because refraction through a solid sphere would not look
that way. But a hollow glass sphere, which I used in the updated scene,
matches the 1979 image closely.
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