Shadow Squares

This extreme telephoto shot, with a 10 degree field of view, gives a good view of the Shadow Squares. These are modeled using just simple polygons, shaded a constant color with the standard matte surface shader. This is consistent with the description in Ringworld of the Shadow Squares being nearly featureless.

The Sun

This is my second attempt at a Sun. My first Sun was a point light source inside a sphere. The sphere was transparent to the light but had a constant shader that made it visible when you looked at it. It looked OK, but didn't produce soft shadows.

The current Sun is an area light source. This gives soft shadows at the expense of much longer rendering times. The right way to do this is to build the day and night into the ring surface shader itself. Then a simple point light could serve as the Sun.

A second sphere surrounds the sun sphere and is shaded with a glow shader. This produces a reasonable corona effect. The Sun could be much more detailed, if I felt like getting into it.

The Stars

The star background uses a noise based starfield shader written by Larry Gritz. Alas, it doesn't animate at all, so I need to start over from scratch if I want to animage the Ringworld.

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