CS3710 Ray Tracing Project

By: Rahim Ali


I decided to do the Lethbridge wind gauge. I tried, as accurately as possible to recreate the picture of the wind gauge I found.


I tried using POV-Ray at first, but decided to use Blender instead. Blender is a free 3D modelling software. It's interface is designed to increase productivity at the expensive of intuitiveness. After figuring out some of the quirks of Blender, I found that it had a lot of support. I used a ray tracer called yafray to create the lighting effects.

Wind Gauge:

For the chain, I first created a Torus, and then I extended the middle out to make it look like a link in the chain. Then I copied it, rotated the new one by 90 degrees and put it on the first one, and repeated this until I got a full chain.

I modelled the ball and chain. It was relatively simple. I used a standard UV sphere for the ball and mapped a texture of a bronze wall onto it.


Then I went to work on the wind gauge body, one of the hardest parts of this landmark. The body of the wind gauge had irregular curves, two ways and it was a challenge to accurately model both curves at the same time. I ended up splitting it into two parts, the forward curve (where the chain attaches to) and the side curve.

Plant life:

The trees and bushes were created with a tool called Gen3, a tree making python script for Blender which creates somewhat realistic trees using the research here. The trees and bushes have a large amount of vertices, so it's recommended you go into each mesh for the 3-4 sub parts of the tree (leaves, branches, sub branches and trunk) and remove vertices, as this will make your project files extremely large. Foliage also takes a long time to render and is one of the most time consuming parts of this project.


For the visitor's booth in the back, I used a program called Wood Workshop, as it creates wood textures for you to use.

The road texture was simply made in photoshop by adding a noise filter and adding some angled lines. I wanted to model the grass used in this project, but it made Blender run extremely slow and took an extremely long time to render.




Yafray (Yet Another Free Raytracer)
Wood Workshop