Wed Aug 21 2013

##FSharp Raytracer Part 3 - Phong Shading / Lambertian Reflection

Shading is the process of taking a point on a surface and calculating exactly what color we see there. In real life, a surface absorbs and emits light in all directions. The light that we see is the portion of light from that surface that is emitted directly towards our eyes (or camera).

Phong reflection
Here is the formula for the Phong reflection model. Don't be scared by the formula, it is actually quite basic (plus, we're actually going to only use 1/3 of it!) In plain English, the Phone reflection model assumes that all light is composed of a global ambient light factor ka plus a diffuse reflection + a glossy reflection for each individual light in the scene.

In this installment, we'll simplify the equation down to just the diffuse reflection, i.e. the kd term. This is called Lambertian reflection, after the guy who proposed this model in the 1700's.

Shading function for lambert reflection:

let lambert (i:Intersection<Shape>) = 
    let rawcolor = dummyshade i
    let illumination (l:Light) = 
        let lm' = l.Pos - i.point |> Vector3.Normalize // direction from point to light (normalized)
        rawcolor * dot lm' i.normal
    Lights |> illumination |> Seq.reduce (+) 

Note that we just use our buddy from the last post, dummyshade, to grab a random color for each shape as the base color. We then write a function illumination that calculates the contribution of color from each light in the scene. then in the final line of F# Lights |> illumination |> Seq.reduce (+) just a map/reduce telling us to sum up all the illuminations for every light, and return the sum.