The Aristotelian Rainbow: From Philosophy to Computer Graphics

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    Abstract

    Developments in the graphics discipline called realistic image synthesis are in many ways related to the historical development of theories of light. And theories of light will probably continue to inspire the ongoing search for realism in graphics. To nurture this inspiration, we present the first in-depth, source-based historical study that pinpoints events with relevance for graphics in the development of theories of light. We also show that ancient mathematical models for light scattering phenomena may still find a use in the branch of realistic image synthesis concerned with real-time rendering. As an example we use Aristotle's theory of rainbow formation to construct a method for real-time rendering of rainbows. This example serves as an invitation to use the overview and references provided in this paper, not only for understanding where many of the physical concepts used in graphics come from, but also for finding more mathematical and physical models that are useful in graphics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of GRAPHITE 2007 : 5th International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Australasia and Southeast Asia
    PublisherACM
    Publication date2007
    ISBN (Print)978-1-59593-912-8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    Event5th International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Australasia and Southeast Asia - Perth, Australia
    Duration: 1 Dec 20074 Dec 2007
    Conference number: 5
    http://graphite.siggraph.org/

    Conference

    Conference5th International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Australasia and Southeast Asia
    Number5
    Country/TerritoryAustralia
    CityPerth
    Period01/12/200704/12/2007
    Internet address

    Keywords

    • History
    • realistic image synthesis
    • philosophy

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