Comments in LaTeX

10 Jul 2018

When writing a paper in LaTeX, it’s common to leave notes and comments in the text, either to yourself or your co-authors. I used to write these as just different colored text using \textcolor{...}, with each author assigned a color, or all with the same color. However, with more authors it can get hard to keep picking legible font colors. Futhermore, sometimes just a different color font doesn’t stand out quite as much as I’d like from the rest of the text. More recently I’ve switched to using highlights for the comments, which works well with multiple authors, and helps the comments stand out from the rest of the text. This is easy to do with the soul and xcolor packages.

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Distributed Rendering with Rust and Mio

02 Jan 2016

In this post we’ll take a look at adding distributed rendering to tray_rust which will let us take advantage of multiple machines when rendering an image, like a compute cluster. To do this we’ll look at options for how to distribute the rendering job across multiple nodes and what sort of communication is needed synchronize their work. We’ll also look into how we can use mio to write an efficient master process that can manage multiple workers effectively.

After implementing a simple technique to distribute the job we’ll discuss the scalability of this approach and possible paths forward to improve it. I’ve also recently written a plugin for Blender so you can easily create your own scenes and will mention a bit on how to run the ray tracer on Google Compute Engine (or AWS EC2) if you want to try out the distributed rendering yourself.

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Rendering an Animation in Rust

16 Dec 2015

In this post we’ll look at adding a pretty awesome new feature to tray_rust, something I’ve never implemented before: animation! We’ll take a look at a simple way for sampling time in our scene, how we can associate time points with transformations of objects to make them move and how to compute smooth animation paths with B-Splines. Then we’ll wrap up with rendering a really cool animation by using 60 different machines spread across two clusters at my lab.

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Porting a Ray Tracer to Rust, part 3

15 May 2015

It’s been a little while since my last post on tray_rust as I’ve been a busy with classes, but I’ve had a bit of free time to implement some extremely cool features. In this post we’ll look at porting over the path tracing code and adding a bounding volume hierarchy, along with adding support for triangle meshes and measured material data from the MERL BRDF Database introduced by Matusik et al. in 2003 in A Data-Driven Reflectance Model. In the process of implementing the BVH we’ll get a taste of Rust’s generic programming facilities and use them to write a flexible BVH capable of storing any type that can report its bounds. In the spirit of fogleman’s gorgeous Go Gopher in Go we’ll wrap up by rendering the Rust logo in Rust using a model made by Nylithius on BlenderArtists.

If you’ve been following Rust’s development a bit you have probably noticed that the timing of this post is not a coincidence, since Rust 1.0.0 is being released today!

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