Color Images

GSnap can now create images of the starlight in a galaxy using the same volume rendering technique that is used for creating images of the gas. For added realism, the starlight is attenuated by dust in the galaxy and very young stars are drawn bluer and brighter than their older counterparts. The resulting images are already looking pretty nice after just one day of working on this new viewing technique. On my quad core Phenom II processor, the total rendering time for a 3 million particle snapshot at 1280×720 resolution is about 3 minutes. That’s a long time to wait if you are making a thousand frames for video, but it is considerably faster than using Sunrise to create similar images. Furthermore, creating images using GSnap only requires one command, whereas the Sunrise workflow requires four steps. The primary reason for the performance difference is that GSnap is just trying to make nice images, while Sunrise tries to get all of the physics correct. The rendering time will likely drop a bit after I optimize the code.

Here are the first example images. As usual, click for the full-size versions:


One Response to “Color Images”

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