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Play with the marvellous raytracer that also creates anaglyphs and autostereograms


Raytracer written by Dean Lambert, Alasdair C. Hamilton, George Constable, Richard Bowman, and Johannes Courtial. (With help from Harsh Snehanshu and Sharvil Talati.)

What does TIM do?

download user guideDownload TIM's user guide

TIM can simulate "impossible" optical components, for example windows that rotate the light-ray direction through 90 degrees around the window normal. We call such components METATOYs. TIM is an acronym for "The Interactive METATOY".

TIM has other features, at least one of them unique. These include the abilities

  • to simulate a camera that can focus on arbitrary surfaces, not just planes;
  • to visualisation of light-ray trajectories through optical systems;
  • to simulate the effect of light-ray "teleportation";
  • to create 3D images suitable for viewing with red/blue anaglyph glasses;
  • and to create random-dot stereograms.
These features, and the algorithms behind them, are described in some detail in this article.

view through a ray-rotating window focussing on spheres focussing on an inclined plane visualisation of light-ray trajectories visualisation of light-ray trajectories direct visualisation of simulated pupil size and its effect on blurring direct visualisation of simulated pupil size and its effect on blurring anaglyph (suitable for viewing with red/blue 3D glasses) of Tim's head random-dot stereogram of Tim's head
artist's impression of a microscopic bead being set into rotation using a light beam twisted with a forked diffraction grating

Above are a few simple images created with TIM. Visit TIM's gallery for more!

Other formats and license

TIM is also available as a Java application. TIM's source code, available under the GNU General Public License, is available here; the application programming interface (API) documenting the code is available here.


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