6.10. User Interface   

The Raytrace user interface is menu based. The typical session involves running Raytrace interactively and redirecting your input to a log file. Then, changes are made to the log file which is then used as an input script.

Once Raytrace is running, there are various options available at the input prompt.

Some data can be typed in. Often, a default value for the input is given in square brackets. If a blank line is entered, the default value will be taken.

/* comment */
Any line beginning with '/*' is treated as a comment and must be terminated on that line with '*/'. Generally, comments are only used in script files to make them more readable or to comment out certain input or pieces of data.

> log_file
All user input data is written out to the named log file. To switch off the log, enter a line with just a greater than character ('>'). This option is useful for creating script files interactively.

< script_file
Input is taken from the script file. When the end of the file is reached, the input stream pointer returns to the original. Currently, it is possible to nest the input redirection to a depth of 10.

! command
Input is taken from the executed command. You can even use pipes if you want. The spawned off process can take input from the terminal. This is only supported on UNIX systems.

Future enhancements are:

a Scene Description Language to describe environment, data, properties and animation.

a wire frame rendering mode for fast placement of objects.

model translators from common CAD/CAM formats.

Lumpy Spheres.
Fig. 6.4 : Lumpy Spheres.