What is this type of 3D shader / renderer called?
June 11, 2011 1:10 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a type of 3D shader / renderer for which I've seen a number of demos. Most featured many objects (in the hundreds), often in greyscale, often with many of the objects acting as light sources. The quality of the renderings is very high, with a beautiful, soft chiaroscuro effect. I have a feeling the technique starts with an 'S'. Any ideas, hive mind?
posted by sixswitch to Technology (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Strata? It's a 3D rendering program.
posted by virginia_clemm at 1:22 PM on June 11, 2011

That "soft effect" makes me think it's either ambient occlusion or global illumination.

Yep. No "s" but that's my guess.
posted by jpburns at 1:51 PM on June 11, 2011

If you're thinking of the name of the rendering software, I think some of the technical demos of the Brazil renderer looked like that -- and the company that makes Brazil is called Splutterfish (I'm really stretching to find that "S" :).

Otherwise, there are many many technical terms that you could be thinking of. As mentioned above, ambient occlusion gives that look, and it's an approximation of real global illumination. Both of those are calculated using something called stochastic sampling (two "S"s!).
posted by madmethods at 2:00 PM on June 11, 2011

subsurface scattering, i think. like this?
posted by patricking at 2:24 PM on June 11, 2011

To iterate on jpburns, what about SSAO??
posted by swordfishtrombones at 3:00 PM on June 11, 2011

Response by poster: None of the above, but this helps me narrow it down. It's not an actual piece of software. The 'S' was just a feeling.

The term was used in the way that you would use a term like 'Phong shading'. So like a general technique, rather than a piece of software.
posted by sixswitch at 3:58 PM on June 11, 2011

Sub-surface scattering.
posted by unSane at 4:47 AM on June 12, 2011

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