Difference between revisions of "Early Raytracing History"

(Stub out page for organizing early raytracing historical reports)
 
(Flesh out intro, add list of MAGIC documents (most of the links not live yet))
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Even though BRL-CAD has a very long development history, it is actually the latest in a line of raytracing systems dating back to the 1960s.  Much of that history is documented in technical reports from the Ballistic Research Laboratory.
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Even though the BRL-CAD computer aided design package has a very long development history by the standards of most modern software, it is actually the latest in a line of raytracing systems dating back to the 1960s.  Much of that history is documented in technical reports from the Ballistic Research Laboratory (later the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.)  A first hand account of Richard Hoyt's earliest work on vehicle shotline calculations by Davidson C. Hardison can be found in [http://www.arl.army.mil/arlreports/1999/ARL-SR-90.pdf ARL-SR-90], starting at the bottom of page 29.  Although the report does not explicitly date Hoyt's work, from context it appears to have taken place in the mid to late 1950s.  This account details what may very well be the first true raytracing of a geometric model, done quite literally ''by hand!''  Although not computerized, this work appears to be the original foundation on which all of the Ballistic Research Laboratory's subsequent computerized raytracing systems were designed - if anyone knows more about this very early work and whether any records of it still survive, the BRL-CAD developers would be quite interested to see it!
  
  
 
= MAGIC =
 
= MAGIC =
  
The very first raytracer at BRL was...
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The very first computerized raytracer at BRL was the MAGIC system, developed by
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Mathematical Applications Group, Inc. (MAGI) in the mid 1960s for the Ballistic Research Laboratory. Richard Hoyt is listed as BRL's technical supervisor on the project.  MAGI later went on to play a [https://design.osu.edu/carlson/history/tree/magi.html significant role] in the commercial development of CGI.  The seminal report detailing this work is "A Geometric Description Technique Suitable for Computer Analysis of Both the Nuclear and Conventional Vulnerability of Armored Military Vehicles," published in 1967.  It was not approved for public release until much later, and hence is relatively obscure despite its historical importance in the field of computer graphics.
  
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The other significant sources of information known to exist about the first MAGIC system are a set of manuals prepared by the Joint Technical Coordinating Group for Munitions Effectiveness (JTCG/ME) in 1970-71 and the proceedings of the first (and apparently last?) conference held for the users of the MAGIC and SAM-C codes in 1971. 
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{| border=1  
 
!Report Title
 
!Report Title
!Summary
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!Number
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|-
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|[http://brlcad.org/... A Geometric Description Technique Suitable for Computer Analysis of Both the Nuclear and Conventional Vulnerability of Armored Military Vehicles]
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|MAGI-6701
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|-
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|[http://brlcad.org/... MAGIC Computer Simulation - Volume I. User Manual]
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|61 JTCG/ME-71-7-1
 
|-
 
|-
|MAGIC
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|[http://brlcad.org/... MAGIC Computer Simulation - Volume II. Analyst Manual Part 1]
|Summarize...
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|61 JTCG/ME-71-7-2-1
 
|-
 
|-
|MAGIC
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|[http://brlcad.org/... MAGIC Computer Simulation - Volume II. Analyst Manual Part 2]
|Summarize...
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|61 JTCG/ME-71-7-2-2
 
|-
 
|-
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|[http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/728124.pdf The First Conference of Users of the Magic and SAM-C Programs]
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|AD728124
 
|}
 
|}
  
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= GIFT =
 
= GIFT =
  
{| border=1 bgcolor=#444444
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{| border=1  
 
!Report
 
!Report
 
!Summary
 
!Summary
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Although it is not a direct ancestor of BRL-CAD, Bell Aerospace was also developing an early computer based analytical system in the late 1960s and early 1970s for the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory called MAGIC:
 
Although it is not a direct ancestor of BRL-CAD, Bell Aerospace was also developing an early computer based analytical system in the late 1960s and early 1970s for the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory called MAGIC:
  
{| border=1 bgcolor=#444444
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{| border=1  
 
!Report
 
!Report
 
!Summary
 
!Summary

Revision as of 20:50, 2 November 2011

Even though the BRL-CAD computer aided design package has a very long development history by the standards of most modern software, it is actually the latest in a line of raytracing systems dating back to the 1960s. Much of that history is documented in technical reports from the Ballistic Research Laboratory (later the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.) A first hand account of Richard Hoyt's earliest work on vehicle shotline calculations by Davidson C. Hardison can be found in ARL-SR-90, starting at the bottom of page 29. Although the report does not explicitly date Hoyt's work, from context it appears to have taken place in the mid to late 1950s. This account details what may very well be the first true raytracing of a geometric model, done quite literally by hand! Although not computerized, this work appears to be the original foundation on which all of the Ballistic Research Laboratory's subsequent computerized raytracing systems were designed - if anyone knows more about this very early work and whether any records of it still survive, the BRL-CAD developers would be quite interested to see it!


MAGIC

The very first computerized raytracer at BRL was the MAGIC system, developed by Mathematical Applications Group, Inc. (MAGI) in the mid 1960s for the Ballistic Research Laboratory. Richard Hoyt is listed as BRL's technical supervisor on the project. MAGI later went on to play a significant role in the commercial development of CGI. The seminal report detailing this work is "A Geometric Description Technique Suitable for Computer Analysis of Both the Nuclear and Conventional Vulnerability of Armored Military Vehicles," published in 1967. It was not approved for public release until much later, and hence is relatively obscure despite its historical importance in the field of computer graphics.

The other significant sources of information known to exist about the first MAGIC system are a set of manuals prepared by the Joint Technical Coordinating Group for Munitions Effectiveness (JTCG/ME) in 1970-71 and the proceedings of the first (and apparently last?) conference held for the users of the MAGIC and SAM-C codes in 1971.


Report Title Number
A Geometric Description Technique Suitable for Computer Analysis of Both the Nuclear and Conventional Vulnerability of Armored Military Vehicles MAGI-6701
MAGIC Computer Simulation - Volume I. User Manual 61 JTCG/ME-71-7-1
MAGIC Computer Simulation - Volume II. Analyst Manual Part 1 61 JTCG/ME-71-7-2-1
MAGIC Computer Simulation - Volume II. Analyst Manual Part 2 61 JTCG/ME-71-7-2-2
The First Conference of Users of the Magic and SAM-C Programs AD728124


GIFT

Report Summary
Gift 1 Summary
Gift 2 Summary


Other Early Computational Analysis Efforts

The Air Force's MAGIC System

Although it is not a direct ancestor of BRL-CAD, Bell Aerospace was also developing an early computer based analytical system in the late 1960s and early 1970s for the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory called MAGIC:

Report Summary
MAGIC: An Automated General Purpose System for Structural Analysis. Volume 1. Engineer's Manual
MAGIC: An Automated General Purpose System for Structural Analysis. Volume 2. User's Manual
MAGIC: An Automated General Purpose System for Structural Analysis. Volume 3. Programmer's Manual
MAGIC II: An Automated General Purpose System for Structural Analysis. Volume 1. Engineer's Manual (Addendum)
MAGIC II: An Automated General Purpose System for Structural Analysis. Volume 2. User's Manual
MAGIC II: An Automated General Purpose System for Structural Analysis. Volume 3. Programmer's Manual
MAGIC III: An Automated General Purpose System for Structural Analysis Volume 1. Engineer's Manual
MAGIC III: An Automated General Purpose System for Structural Analysis. Volume 2. User's Manual
MAGIC III: An Automated General Purpose System for Structural Analysis. Volume 3. Programmer's Manual