In computer graphics
, an advanced technique for adding realism to an image by including variations in shade, color intensity, and shadows that would be produced by having one or more light sources. Ray tracing software
works by simulating the path of a single light ray as it would be absorbed or reflected by various objects
in the image. To work properly, the artist must specify parameters
of the light source (intensity, color, etc.) as well as all the objects (how reflective or absorbent the materials are).
Ray tracing requires enormous computational resources, and is supported by only the most advanced graphics systems.