RenderMan Light Shader

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Global Variables

The following table lists the set of global variables that can be used by light source shaders.

Name Type Storage Description
Cl color varying Outgoing light ray color (output)
Ol color varying Outgoing light ray opacity (output)
P point varying Surface position on the light
dPdu vector varying Derivitive of surface position along u
dPdv vector varying Derivitive of surface position along v
N normal varying Surface shading normal on the light
Ng normal varying Surface geometric normal on the light
u,v float varying Surface parameters
du,dv float varying Change in surface parameters
s,t float varying Surface texture coordinates
L vector varying Outgoing light ray direction*
Ps point varying Position being illuminated
E point uniform Position of the eye
ncomps float uniform Number of color components
time float uniform Current shutter time
dtime float uniform The amount of time covered by this shading sample

Geometry of Shading

A light source shader computes the amount of light cast along the direction L which arrives at some point in space Ps. The color of the light is Cl while the opacity is Ol. The geometric parameters described above (P, du, N, etc.) are available in light source shaders; however, they are the parameters of the light emitting surface (e.g., the surface of an area light source) not the parameters of any primitive being illuminated. If the light source is a point light, P is the origin of the light source shader space and the other geometric parameters are zero. If either Cl or Ol are not set, they default to black and opaque, respectively.


Standard ambient light source

 light ambientlight (float intensity = 1;
                     color lightcolor = 1;
   Cl = intensity * lightcolor;

The simplest light is only defined by an intensity and a color. It's the same everywhere.

Directional properties

From the RenderMan Interface Specification :

The directional properties of light sources depend on whether the sources execute a solar or an illuminate statement. Light source shaders without explicit illuminate or solar statements are assumed to be non-directional, or ambient.


Standard point light source

 light pointlight (float intensity = 1;
                   color lightcolor = 1;
                   point from = point "shader" (0,0,0);)
   illuminate (from)
     Cl = intensity * lightcolor / (L . L);

The illuminate statement defines a local light source (one with a position). Here, the length of L is the distance from the light source to the surface being shaded. The / (L . L) operation simulates the light falloff.

Standard distant light source

 light distantlight(float intensity = 1;
                    color lightcolor = 1;
                    point from = point "shader"(0, 0, 0);
                    point to = point "shader"(0, 0, 1);)
   solar (to - from, 0)
     Cl = intensity * lightcolor;

The solar statement defines a directional light source. The light direction is defined by the (to - from) vector.

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