Burning the Midnight Oil

Rendering Competition 2021

Scene Description

Once the rendering competition started, I kept thinking about what to do for the contest . I browsed through the internet, I looked at images from past rendering competitions; I looked back at the various assignments we had done, and soon enough, one night while searching for an idea, I had not realised the time and it had got very late!! I knew this would not be just me, but also other students participating in the contest. I decided to try and create a image using my ray tracer, of us students toiling through the night sitting on a chair and table under the light bulbs and lamps. I felt we could all relate to this image of us students "burning the midnight oil"

Building the Scene

I decided to try and use blender to create my scene. The problem was I had no idea how to use it. So i decided to watch some tutorial videos. After quite some time, I created a simple scene consisting of just cubes. I soon realized it would be way too difficult for me now to create my own models. So i decided to import them and add them to my scene. Initially I just imported a table and fan and added some walls, and got a scene like this: Initial Scene It was a start. Then, I thought of things that we normally keep on a table. First, a lamp seemed an ideal thing that would be needed. Then i followed it up with an open book, set of books and a glass of water. I like to keep my table neat, so i avoided adding many things. Table Components I realised i did not want to add a person to the scene, as it would be a complex model and i did not have much time to dwell into it.So i thought the person should be missing from the scene. And a good reason for that would be that he went to the bathroom or any other room. So i decided to add a small room , and keep the door slightly open, as the light peeping out from it might look cool! Again, I created a simple scene first Table Components After the scene creation, it was more about experimenting different things, most of them part of my ray tracer beforehand. I realised light must pass through the walls from the bathroom to make it look realistic, so I added a Combine Material. Also, I experimented with different lights, and felt point light best represented a bulb inside an enclosed room, and area light was good for a lamp. I also added a bump map to the floor. I kept different refractive indices for water and glass materials to make the glass look as if filled with water. Finally, I combined the two parts of the scene(table-chair and bathroom) and rendered the complete image.

Image Highlights:

The scene consists of the following components:
1. Image Textures
2. Bump Mapper
3. Area Lights, Point Lights
4. Mirror Material, Glass Material, Lambertian Material, Combine Material
5. Several Models
6. Smooth Triangles
The images were rendered in Intel I5 system. The low quality image took nearly 60 mins to get rendered for 90 samples.


Ironically, I ended up burning the midnight oil before completing the submission. I am sure many other students did that too. So, it is indeed a "realistic" image.


1. Table Model
2. Fan Model
3. Door Model
4. Glass Model
5. Chair Model
6. Open Book Model
7. Books Model
8. Lamp Model