Continual innovation is at the base of the Lightflow Rendering Interface. A completely modular and procedural approach has been adopted from the ground up to allow constant growth with time.

The key idea is to produce a live software project able to modify itself according to new hardware technologies, without ever loosing its solid consistency and always mantaining the best speed to quality ratio.

This strategy has already shown its benefits by producing an incredible list of features in a few years' development.

Technical Report

  • network management
    A powerful proxy solution has been added to allow automatic dispatch of rendering on mulitple machines.
  • multithreaded rendering
    Multiple processors can be used to compute both single images and animations at a faster speed.
  • caustics
    Beautyful light patterns are formed by specular reflectors and refractors such as chromed surfaces, water and glasses. The Multiway Ligth Channels provide a flexible mechanism to perform light redirection even using imaginary reflection paths.
  • radiosity
    Fast radiosity is finally available even on slower desktop computers. Amazing color bleeding makes images alive.
  • sub-pixel surface precision
    The innovative Run-time Adaptive Splitting technology allows perfect geometry curvature with sub-pixel details. The user will no longer need to spend precious time on tedious tessellation parameters.
  • sub-pixel displacement mapping
    Automatic displacement mapping is performed on all the geometric types, from simple spheres to complex NURBS. This feature, combined with perfect procedural patterns, can provide incredible surface details that would be impossible to model by hand.
  • distributed ray-tracing
    Blurred reflections and refractions enhance the rendering quality by a great factor, overcoming the classical unnaturally sharp appearence of ray-traced images.
  • volumetric rendering
    Realistic clouds, colloids and light beams can now be modeled in three dimensions without using any trick.
  • hypertextures
    Solid surfaces can be automatically extracted from three dimensional mathematical patterns and volumetric data. This feauture will allow realistic display of medical images and complex fluid simulations.
    Standard implementation of trimmed NURBS surfaces allows complete compatibility with the most modern CAD/CAM and modeling systems.
  • blobs
    Standard implementation of blobs (also known as metaballs), for advanced organic modelling.
  • B-REPS
    Boundary representation of solids makes boolean operations easy even on the most complex parametric and implicit geometries.
  • CSG
    Constructive Solid Geometry provides a flexible set of modeling instruments to merge multiple objects.
  • high-quality procedural patterns
    More than 40 procedural patterns will allow the user to reproduce whatever surface appearence. The images in this document show a variety of simple combinations of these powerful shading blocks, such as the calm and moved ocean waves, some soft 3d clouds and many types of marble and wood. None of them used a digitized texture.
  • environment mapping
    Improved algorithms to obtain fast reflections and refractions with quasi-physical realism.
  • lens effects
    Astonishing realism is reached without great modeling efforts by an accurate use of the automatic depth of field and light glowing capabilities.

All the images present in this document were created and rendered with the Lightflow Rendering Tools by Jacopo Pantaleoni, and they can be redistributed only with the following copyright notice:
Rendered with the Lightflow Rendering Tools.
Copyright 1998-2000, by Jacopo Pantaleoni. All rights reserved.