Untitled Document
Not a member yet? Register for full benefits!

Virtual Dictionary


Caustics are a type of reflective lighting which bring greatly enhanced realism to a virtual environment. They are a refinement on raytracing (or alternatively on raycasting), in which additional calculations start when the light rays hit an object with a refractive index greater than 0, and a transparency greater than 0. In other words, an object that is partially transparent and scatters the light.

They are a secondary raytrace that comes not from the lightsource, but as a reflection from the object, onto other objects, treating the object as if it was a lightsource of the reflected light. To save processing power of course, only those reflections as seen by the viewpoint are rendered, but it provides an additional layer of lighting. Caustics can recreate effects such as the glowing crescent on the desk below a backlit glass, or the flickering patterns of reflected light on a wall above a pool of water.

See Also: Raytracing, Raycasting, Scanline Rendering, Caustic Network, Volumetric Caustics, Photon Mapped Caustics

Below, we offer a selection of links from our resource databases which may match this term.

Related Dictionary Entries for Caustics:

Caustic Network

Caustic Shading


Direct Light

Indirect Light

Photon Mapped Caustics

Photon Mapping

Progressive Radiosity

Volume Caustics

Volumetric Caustics


Resources in our database matching the Term Caustics:

Results by page [1]   

Linked resource
Inexpensive Underwater Caustics Using Cg
A look at creating aesthetically pleasing, realistic water movements, using caustics - for ultra-realism for low processing power.


Industry News containing the Term Caustics:

Results by page [1]   

(Press Release) Maxwell is a new render engine based on the physics of real light. Its algorithms and equations reproduce the behaviour of light in a completely accurate way. All of the elements in Maxwell, such as light emitters, material ...

Caligari have released Truespace 7.6 free to the public.

It should be noted that in order to qualify for the free product, there is a substantial form-filling in process, which includes a substantial amount of personal infor...