BRL-CAD's shader system is custom developed for the librt raytracer. Shaders are currently coded in C and explicitly added to the active shader list. A question of interest is whether we can utilize work being done for other open source raytracing shader systems to improve the flexibility of BRL-CAD's shader system and take advantage of shaders developed for other systems.
A proposal should outline what changes are proposed to BRL-CAD's current shaders. Initial stages would involve either writing the shader bridge in liboptical or designing a new approach (remember though, all existing shader functionality in the current system must be preserved, even if it is re-implemented in some fashion. Be careful about biting off more than you can achieve in a summer.)
This task will require a fair bit of background research in order to put together a compelling proposal - interested students should study BRL-CAD's shader system to determine how it works, and then look at other open source, license compatible systems to see what they may offer. Candidates include:
- Sony's Open Shader Language (OSL): http://opensource.imageworks.com/?p=osl
- Pixie: http://www.renderpixie.com/
OSL is of particular interest because it is developed specifically for raytracing systems.
- Familiarity with C/C++