Computer Science 2710 - Ray Tracing Project

Submitted by: Darren Matchett

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wind turbines

I chose to use 3ds Max to develop my project. Max is a powerful and robust 3D software development program and is popularly used within industry. The scene I chose to model is that of wind turbines in southern Alberta. Alberta is a world leader in energy production and the development of wind turbines to harness southern Alberta's strong winds is an important step in cleaner energy production.

The making of the turbines scene took approximately 20-25 hours, including the time spent learning 3ds and practicing with online tutorials. I developed each aspect of the scene separately and at the end merged all images into the final scene. Adding a camera and lighting for better effect.

The wheat fields were difficult to replicate at first. I ended up creating a box with a noise modifier and UVW mapping to simulate the ground. Four types of straw were made with different bends, rotations and materials. Each straw was then converted to a compound, modified with a scatter effect, attached to the ground box and duplicated 50,000 times each.

The mountain range in the back scene was created by using several boxes and attaching a height map to each box. The height map was borrowed from and edited within an editing program.

The hawk within the forground was created with a series of cones and pyramids. An editable material was attached but isn't easily distinguishable in the scene due to scaling issues. The hay bales are simple cylinders with modifiers applied. The turbines were created using cones and pyramids. The sky was created as a background image. The image was actually a GIF image found within the support files of the book 3ds Max 6 Bible by Kelly Murdock. The lighting of the scene was created primarily by an omni light source located to the upper left of the scene (not within the viewable scene).

Probably the most difficult part of the project was getting used to the coordinate systems and proper placement of objects within the scene. As the scene was somewhat large, I found the use of a camera object, greatly aided in placement of objects and controlling the view of the final scene.

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