"The main two rendering programs you'll come across are BMRT
(Blue Moon Rendering Tools), and POV Ray. There are, of course,
many more such as Lightflow and Radiator. Now, upon visiting the
BMRT website you may notice that they make many references to
"RenderMan," "radiosity rendering" and "raytracing". Rendering
is full of jargon, so I will attempt to explain these terms without
going into the mathematics and physics behind them."
"First, the RenderMan interface. In an excellent introduction to
RenderMan Joshua Kolden raises the point that RenderMan is not
actually a man at all! Joshua goes on to highlight the fact that
the RenderMan interface provides a way for advanced
three-dimensional modellers to speak with three dimensional
renderers. Therefore, RenderMan is an interface through which
information about three-dimensional geometry and image attributes
can be passed. This interface is designed to be both batch and real
time, so we can view scenes quickly for an overview, then set up
many machines on a network to render them in detail over a longer
period of time."
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