Our scene depicts a confrontation between a Lego toy and an ant, a conflict that normally would pass by completely unnoticed. Through the correct scope however, in this case a marble that lies on the table, one can appreciate the magnitude of even the smallest event. Thus we wanted to draw attention to the fact, that there is much to be gained by assuming a different perspective every once in a while.
At the very beginning of our search for a fitting scene, was our fascination for the glass material, especially for spheres made of the very same. It was thus clear from the start, that our scene would have to feature one at a prominent place.
Originally we wanted to create a scene showing different marbles in a child's bedroom. We therefore implemented different marble textures and materials, as depicted in the image on the right.
However this approach did not fit our aesthetic vision, as the resulting scene was overcrowded and there was no narrative to be found in it. We needed to reconsider from a scene mainly containing marbles to something different, where nonetheless some marbles are still not misplaced.
Given that glass would play a prominent role in our scene, we implemented Adaptive Supersampling. For this we extended our Integrator to query the material that is currently being hit for the information, on whether it is necessary to supersample the respective pixel (see RecursiveRayTracingIntegrator.cpp and ConcurrentRenderer.cpp).
To minimize the time necessary for rendering the images, we also wrote a new Concurrent Renderer (see ConcurrentRenderer.cpp), that starts four threads, each with a threadid from 0 to 3, and then lets each thread do the rendering on the pixels that fulfill that row % 4 == threadid.
Another effect we were very intrigued by was depth of field and the created macro effect. This added the needed sense of scale and furthered our agenda of changing ones perspective. It also quite literally made it possible to direct the focus of the image to the confrontation between the pirate and the ant through the marble.