Playing with Pixels: Photorealistic 3D in JavaScript

graphics, javascript, nodejs

Have you ever watched a 3D movie and wondered how software winds up with such a true-to-life image?

Unlike video games, which use complicated and math-intensive tricks for realtime graphics, movie studios render 3D films like “Frozen” or “Big Hero 6” via an elegant and intuitive algorithm called “path tracing.” Path tracers simulate actual photons of light bouncing around a scene, reacting to the objects and materials they encounter. Such programs run slowly, but render beautiful images, and they’re surprisingly easy to write and understand. In this talk, we’ll explore this fascinating algorithm with examples in JavaScript.