Final Project: Lilly Pond

Final Image

The Making of the Lilly Pond
The initial layout with all diffuse surfaces:

Pure reflection on the water looks pretty bad:

Let's add in some weeds and some sand under water, and make the light source a little more powerful:

Bump mapping on everyting (except the water surface) makes a BIG difference:

Soften things up with an area light:

Use another bump map for water ripples:

First attempt at photon mapping, without taking the color of surfaces off of which photons bounce into account:

The status of my renderings at 3:30pm on the day of the rendering competition (which was scheduled for 3pm to 6pm):

The image still wasn't done at 4:15pm:

By 4:30pm, the small image was done, but I was still waiting on the two large ones:

Final (small) image with low sample sizes, but at least it has everything in it:

Description & Inspirations

This project marks the culmination of my computer rendering course at UCSD. It was an opportunity to combine all of the rendering techniques and algorithms that we learned throughout the quarter to create one final, impressive photo-realistic image. Click the link below for a full write-up of the assignment.


I really wanted to do something that represented quiet beauty for this project. This was a really stressful, busy quarter for me, so I wanted to create an image that portrays the tranquility my life had been lacking. On top of that, rendering a scene like this gave me the opportunity to utilize and show off three new techniques that I hadn't tried and/or gotten completely working in previous assignments.

I was particularly impressed by Iman Sadeghi's final project image, "A Butterly, a Water Drop and a High Speed Camera" from CSE 168's 2007 rendering competition. This image has a sense of the quietness and tranquility that I was looking for.


Once I had decided on a lilly pond scene, I looked around for some actual photos to help guide my image creation. Surprisingly, I didn't find any that really captured what I was lookign for. I did, however, come across this computer rendered screen saver that had the same feel I desired for my image.


Here are some other images I found both beautiful and useful: