Hello everybody. Can anyone tell me the pros and cons of Ray Tracing vs Path Tracing vs Photon Mapping? And maybe an example of a rendering engine for each type… thanks!
The Pixar site has a lot of information on those topics.
They are all essentially methods of tracing rays. Path tracing is just a specific type of ray tracing, and photon mapping is a form of ray tracing where rays are fired from lamps, and then color and illumination data is stored in a data structure that gets interpolated and looked up to estimate secondary lighting at render time. This requires a preprocessing step unlike ray and path tracing.