Beta Radiance Unix distribution

Hi Everybody,

I've just returned from a trip to Europe, so I'm up in the middle of the night reading e-mails since my brain thinks it's noontime....

I must say that I'm really impressed with the quality (and quantity) of discussions going on in this list, and I haven't seen a single wrong or misinterpreted factoid coming from any of the discussants. Schorsch is particularly on the ball -- someone should pay this guy! The discussion of the -i option for irradiance calculation was particularly interesting. This really is just a way to turn all the surfaces into illuminance sensors, oriented according to their normals. This didn't make sense to me for windows or light sources, so I left them out of the hack. I find the information useful, but it does require better explanation than I left in the manual. Sorry about that -- documentation was never my speciality.

I just wanted to respond to the following message:

About a year, maybe a year and 1/2 ago, I downloaded a
Radiance3R2a.tar.Z package. I could not get it to compile properly on
my x86 or alpha boxes. I have not seen this package since. What has
happened to it? Is anybody debugging it or something? Just curious.


I apologize for being remiss in my maintenance of the Unix version of Radiance. I've actually been working on it all along, but unable to distribute it due to license ownership by LBNL. Fortunately, that seems to finally be changing, and they've hired me for a little consulting to put Radiance back on the Unix map.

At SGI, I spent a fair bit of time developing the holodeck addition to Radiance, which is sort of like rview on steroids -- allowing users to move freely about a space while an interactive rendering goes on. This enhancement is explained in the following paper, available from my website:

Ward, Gregory and Maryann Simmons, `` The Holodeck Ray Cache: An Interactive Rendering System for Global Illumination in Nondiffuse Environments,'' ACM Transactions on Graphics, 18(4):361-98, October 1999.

Nevermind that, though, the real news is that I would like to offer beta testers a new Radiance distribution for Unix, which I need som help in making sure it compiles OK on various machines. It may be found at:

This release is being called 3.4 to avoid conflict with previous (LBNL) releases, but it will become the official Unix release once it's been tested and verified. I have compiled and tested it myself on Mac OS X, and you can take a shortcut to the binaries by picking up the following file as well:

Unfortunately, I have not had time to get rview working under Aqua at this point, and you are stuck with using the pdisp script (included) to run ra_tiff or normtiff followed by the Mac Preview program to display images under Aqua. I am working on a high dynamic-range image browser that will facilitate looking at Radiance (as well as other) image formats, but an alpha version of this software is still months away, since it's an after-hours project.

If you're interested in checking out the new holodeck program, you can drop into the ray/obj/cabin directory and try running the following commands:

% make nightcabin.oct
% rholo -o x11 -n 1 night.hdk night.hif &

This starts up rholo with the X11 driver and one rtrace process. Read the rholo manual page for information on how to use the mouse to navigate once the calculation is running. If you're on a Sun or SGI workstation, you should even be able to run the -o ogl driver, which looks and works much nicer, especially if you run the following beforehand:

% make living.oct bed.oct bath.oct

To restart rholo in a subsequent run, leave of the .hif file, since it will reuse the values stored in the holodeck. I really should write a primer on using this program, because it's operation is a bit complicated and obtuse, but Radiance users are used to that....

Please give me feedback on compile problems you run across, and share the output of your "makeall install" if you get stuck. I know there are a couple of hitches on Mac OS X and Solaris having to do with missing headers or broken things in the TIFF library, and I'm a bit baffled as to how to fix those. You may have to compile or install a few files manually there until I get those issues resolved, but I am aware of them.

Thanks in advance for your help!

P.S. Raphael Compagnon and I are hoping to hold an advanced Radiance workshop next Fall, and I'd be interested to hear from interested parties.