rendering/raytracing/CGI books


Hi Everybody!
Can anyone point me to good books or references on the mathematical/physical/programming aspects of rendering/raytracing/CGI?

Thanks a lot in advance
Luis C.


For basic ray tracing, the classic is “An Introduction to Ray Tracing” by Andrew Glassner. Every time I look at it, I’m amazed how little “dated” it is given that it was published in 1989.

The new classic on ray tracing is likely to be “Physically Based Rendering: From Theory to Implementation” by Matt Pharr and Greg Humphreys, which should be out in a week or two. I know the authors, and so have seen bits/pieces/drafts of it. It’s an advanced ray tracing system, including distribution ray tracing and global illumination techniques, written as a literate program (the source code, documentation, and explanations are the book). From what I’ve seen so far it’s very good. Fairly advanced material in there, though, so be warned (sorry, can’t avoid it when you get into advanced ray tracing techniques).



“Computer Graphics - Principles and Practice”
Second Edition (in C)
James D. Foley, Andries van Dam, Steven K. Feiner, John F. Hughes
1997 Addison-Wesley Publishing Company Inc.
ISBN 0-321-21056-5

That’s more or less the Bible of CG. Start with that.

If you want more algorithms and less background, I can warmly recommend the “Graphics Gems” series. They are up to 6 or 7 or so now, and they are all fantastic.

Ciao, ¡muh!


I can second “An Introduction to Ray Tracing” by Andrew Glassner. It’s a very good book and a lot easier to understand than Principles and Practice.



thanks a lot you guys. gonna have a look at those. By the way, i´m astronomer so i have deep understanding of math and physics. So that´s why this interests me so much



Another good book and cheap for raytracing is “Realistic Ray Tracing, Second Edition” by P. Shirley, R. Keith Morley.
A MUST book for physically rendering is “Realistic Image Synthesis Using Photon Mapping” by Henrik Wann Jensen.


I whole heartedly agree. It’s more than worth the estimated $50CAD that I paid for it.


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