The file omp-c-ray.c contains the implementation of a simple ray tracing program written by John Tsiombikas and released under the GPLv2+ license. The instructions for compilation and use are included in the comments. Some input files are provided, and should produce the images shown in Figure 1.
Table 1 shows the approximate time (in seconds) needed on my PC (i7-4790 3.60GHz) to render each file using one core. The server is slower because it has a lower clock frequency, but it has many cores so the performance of the parallel version should be much better.
gcc -std = c99 -Wall -Wpedantic -fopenmp omp-c-ray.c -o omp-c-ray -lm
To render the scene sphfract.small.in:
./omp-c-ray -s 800x600 <sphfract.small.in> img.ppm
The command above produces an image
img.ppm with a resolution \(800 \times 500\). To view the image on Windows it is useful to convert it to JPEG format using the command:
convert img.ppm img.jpeg
and then transferring
img.jpeg to your PC for viewing.
omp-c-ray program accepts a number of optional command-line parameters; use
to see the complete list.
render() function using appropriate OpenMP directives. The serial program is well structured: in particular, functions don't modify global variables, so there are not hidden dependences. If you have time, measure the speedup and the strong scaling efficienty of the parallel version.
It might be helpful to know the basics of how a ray tracer works based on the Whitted recursive algorithm (Figure 2).
The scene is represented by a set of geometric primitives (spheres, in our case). We generate a primary ray (V) from the observer towards each pixel. For each ray we determine the intersections (if any) with the spheres in the scene. The point of intersection p that is closest to the observer is selected, and one or more secondary rays are cast, depending on the material of the object p belongs to:
a light ray (L) in the direction of each of the light sources; for each ray we compute intersections with the spheres to see whether p is directly illuminated;
if the surface of p is reflective, we generate a reflected ray (R) and repeat recursively the procedure;
if the surface is translucent, we generate a transmitted ray (T) and repeat recursively the procedure (
omp-c-ray does not support translucent objects, so this case never happens).
The time required to compute the color of a pixel depends, among other things, on the number of spheres and lights, and on the material of the spheres, and whether the primary ray intersects a sphere and reflected rays are cast or not. This suggests that there could be a high variability in the time required to compute the color of each pixel, which leads to load imbalance that should be addressed in some way.