My first experience with a raytracer was during my undergraduate career. There I implemented a raytracer that had many common features such as reflection, refraction, the phong shading model, texturing, adaptive super sampling and anti-aliasing, and soft shadows.
As a graduate student, I delved deeper into some of the more sophisticated raytracing techniques. While taking the Advanced Image Synthesis course, I experimented with different sampling techniques and reconstruction filters to reduce aliasing in the image and while calculating soft shadows. I added depth-of-field to the raytracer to further emulate a camera. For more advanced raytracing, I implemented a global illumination model to produce more realistic images. In my final assignment for the course, I used OpenGL and the GPU to accelerate the rendering of soft shadows in my raytracer.
In this course I also experimented with shaders in RenderMan. I created a cartoon shader. You can view my work in this course in detail here.
Software Shadows Using Hardware Cameras Paper – Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) – 96KB