This thesis will attempt to visualize astrophysical data that is proprocessed and formatted by the Spiegel software using Pixar's RenderMan. The output will consist of a large set of points and data associated with each point. The goal is to create images that are both informative and aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. This has been done many times before with software rendering and APIs such as OpenGL or JOGL. This thesis will use Pixar's Photorealistic RenderMan, or PRMan for short, as a renderer. PRMan is an industry proven standard renderer that is based on the RenderMan Interface Specification which has been in development since 1989. The original version was released in September of 1989 and the latest specification, version 3.2 was published in 2005. Since aesthetics is a subjective quality based on the viewers' preference, the only way to determine if an image is aesthetically pleasing is to survey a general population. The thesis includes an experiment to assess the quality of the new renders.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Information visualization; Astrophysics--Data processing; Computer graphics; RenderMan
Department, Program, or Center
Computer Science (GCCIS)
Lukasiewicz, John, "Scientific visualization using Pixar's RenderMan" (2011). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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