Radiance Miscellany Page

Radiance Miscellany - Hints, Utilities, and Programs

last modified: 2009-11-27

Welcome to my Radiance Miscellany page! I decided to create a page specifically for all the little tools and textures and hints that I have collected for Radiance over the past few years, and this is it. I hope you find at least SOME of this stuff useful. =O)

You may first want to check out some of these pages:

Procedural patterns and textures


This colorfunc pattern can be used to describe a sky brightness and color based on the same inputs as skybright, plus several RGB colors, including zenith, nadir, horizon, and sun colors.


This procedure can be used to create a regular rectangular pattern of windows, panels, what-have-you, on a variety of objects: polygons, spheres, cylinders, and cones, oriented at any angle. The pattern should even be continuous arcoss a multi-faceted surface if used properly. Shown at left is an application on a cone-shaped building. Also, note the use of skycolor.


This colorfunc pattern can be applied to a large-scale ground surface to give the appearance of land cover bands of blue, green, brown and white. It's not that great.


This function file is for coordinate mapping onto a sphere, and is meant to replace ball.cal and globe.cal if tiling is not desired (as it is not with the commonly-avaliable planetary maps). sphere.cal was used to map not only an image of the moon's surface to the sphere, but an image of the night sky to the background. You can find these 2:1 aspect ratio files here and here. Star maps and planet maps can be found at Tycho Catalog Skymap.

Mars skies

Here are some tools you can use to create a Martian sky. I have not incorporated the exact Mars analemma into the mars_sun code, a basic conversion is used instead. More examples of the sky can be found in the radmisc directory. The routines listed below are still being worked on, but feel free to try them out.


lparser for Radiance

I modified Laurens Lapre's lparser program to allow export to Radiance format. The branches can be exported using cylinders, or a much-nicer cone/sphere format. All leaves are polygons.


I modified Steven Pigeon's PovRockGen program to allow export to Wavefront (.obj) format. It currently supports non-smoothed triangles. I am working on a more general Wavefront-output rock generator toolkit, but who knows when that'll be ready?
rockgen.tar.gz - Wavefront output
PovRockUnix.tar - POV for Unix


Rocktools is a set of tools for creation and manipulation of open and closed triangle meshes, ideally suited for creating 3D meshes of rocks, landscapes, and rough shapes. The programs now available with the toolkit now are: rockcreate, rockdetail, rocksmooth,rocktrim, and rockerode, Most programs can write output to Wavefront (.obj), POV mesh (.pov), Radiance (.rad), Renderman polygon (.rib), irregular triangular network (.tin), and raw formats.
Rocktools homepage

Modelling, Rendering, and other stuff

Benchmark test for Radiance

I borrowed this Radiance benchmark scene from Paul Bourke. Follow the links below to view a page dedicated to collecting data from this speed test run on various computers, and Paul Bourke's original page.
My Radiance benchmark page
Paul Bourke's original page

Resolution and filtering test for Radiance

A test of oversampling resolution and filtering method shows the best methods to use for smooth, anti-aliased images from Radiance.
Radiance resolution test page

Ambient and penumbra test for Radiance

Setting -aa 0 and running a matrix of tests gives us valuable information for parameter tuning for very large models and very high resolution runs.
Radiance ambient and penumbra test page

Mark J. Stock, Graduate, Aerospace Engineering, The University of Michigan