(Please see also a followup to this post.).

Work on the text of 4th edition of Physically Based Rendering: From Theory To Implementation is moving along well. One important detail to attend to is to find a scene to use on the cover of the book.

The cover image is an important part of the book. It has always been rendered with pbrt, the renderer that the book describes, and so it sums up the value proposition of reading the book: if you study the book’s text, you will understand all of the theory and implementation behind rendering images like this one.

For the second edition, we were very fortunate to have Guillermo M. Leal Llaguno create the now-classic “San Miguel” scene, and for the third, Timm Dapper and Jan-Walter Schliep at Laubwerk made a beautifully complex outdoor landscape scene. These scenes have become computer graphics classics, appearing in many subsequent research papers.

In short:

  • We are looking for a new scene, or one that has not been widely seen before.
  • It must be rendered by pbrt, though if you have a nice scene in FBX format, we can help convert it to pbrt’s scene format.
  • You must be willing to allow the scene description to be freely shared once the book has been released so that anyone using pbrt can render it themselves (e.g., by offering it under a CC-BY license).
  • We would prefer an interior scene this time (the last three have all been outdoors), ideally with multiple interesting viewpoints, a variety of objects and materials, and complex lighting.
  • The more complex the better :-)

We can offer a few things in return:

  • Credit (in the book and on the book’s website, etc.) and our own deepest thanks.
  • A few signed copies of the book.
  • The knowledge that most likely, your scene will help advance the state of the art of rendering; pbrt is widely used by researchers to develop new algorithms, and putting interesting and challenging scenes in researchers’ hands has turned out to be an effective way to spur innovation.

If you think you may be able to help or have any questions, please email Wenzel, Greg, and I at authors@pbrt.org.