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Implicit surfaces in Blender

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:39 pm
by allpowerful32

I've been developing an implicit surface ray-tracer for a term project. Essentially, it takes a list of equations and associated materials and a camera location, and outputs a render of the "scene" (composed entirely of implicit surfaces) from that location.
I'm interested in extending this project by implementing support for general implicit surface objects in blender. The idea is to add a new "implicit surface" object that works similarly to the current text object, in that it can be rendered directly with standard blender materials or converted to a mesh object (via marching cubes or similar). Down the road, it would also be interesting to implement stuff like "Variational implicits" to convert meshes back into implicit surfaces. (see

At this point, I want to gauge community interest in such a feature, as well as ask the blender developers what sort of changes would be required to support such a feature. For instance, is the renderer modular enough that adding this new object type would boil down to implementing a "Vector3 traceRay(Object* obj, Ray3 ray)" function (I haven't done more than glance at the blender source, but I've read over the SDNA documents)? Where do you recommend I start?

I've been looking for a while for something significant I could contribute back to the open-source community - maybe this is it!

Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:53 am
by LetterRip
Definitely worth having, you might want to post at which is the user community. These forums are rarely visited even by developers.