Introduction to Ocean Light Simulator

Decomposition of light by a prism simulated by Ocean

Bridging the gap between image rendering and light simulation

What is Ocean?

Ocean Light Simulator is a ray-tracing software. It computes light radiated across a CAD scene, using laws of geometric optics.

It generates physically true, predictive virtual images for engineering applications, and computes information about light, such as illuminance mappings.

A gold thin film was applied on the perfume bottle. The model correctly handles interferential effects in the thin film, causing the reddish tint around 10nm

Gold thin film on a bottle of perfume

Virtual prototyping

Whether you are designing a new perfume bottle, a glazed building or a cell phone, making physical prototypes for validating aesthetical options may be very expensive. Ocean provides very accurate predictive image simulations of your product, allowing fast testing of a large number of designs.

Floor illuminance computed on the fully detailed building model.

Floor illuminance computed on the fully detailed building model.

Lighting simulation brought to fully detailed CAD models

Ocean provides high accuracy illumination calculations, combined with state-of-the art algorithms that provide high computation speed and efficient memory use. It allows using fully detailed CAD models with several millions of polygons, removing the need to make simplified models for light engineering.

For instance, computing the amount of daylight in a building is usually done with a very simplified building model, with few details and materials, and covering only a fraction of the building. This is not a requirement anymore with Ocean : day-lighting charts may are generated from the exact same model and lighting set-up as used for image renderings.

This image was simulated with Ocean and compares four different double glazings. Front pane 6mm, from left to right : mass tinted blue glass, clear glass, and two low-E glasses. Counter panes are all 6mm clear glass

Comparing four different facade glazings

Color Prediction

Unlike most computer graphic programs, Ocean features a polarized, full spectral lighting algorithm. Computing interactions between materials and light is done by retaining all the information which could have an impact on final product colors. This makes Ocean the ultimate tool for the color scientist.

Car render with athermic windshield

Car render with metallic paint and athermic windshield

Complex materials and light sources

Ocean can represent a very broad range of surfaces and light sources, just by using your lab measurements. Metallic car paint, coated glass, brushed metals, dyed plastics, LCD screens, LED lamps, are a few examples of objects which are traditionally difficult to model with classical 3D software, and easy with Ocean

Main Features

  • Algorithm
    • High accuracy ray tracing simulation
    • Full spectral calculation over a user-defined wavelength range
    • General polarization provides accurate results with any material or light source, such as glass and clear sky.
    • Fast and simple simulation set-up with few parameters : stay focused on scene modelling, not on the tool.
    • Progressive result display : do not wait for the full calculation to identify model set-up errors
    • High efficiency with very complex modelsĀ  : 100 million unique polygons is possible
    • Virtually unlimited polygon count with object instancing.
    • Network distributed computing with linear scaling
  • Quantitative analysis
    • Colorimetry
    • Illumination mapping
    • Spectral imaging
    • Radiometry analysis
  • Photo-realistic image rendering
    • Multiple camera models : perspective, realistic aberrated, fisheye, orthoscopic, spherical
    • User defined observer response spectra (CIE 1931 2Ā° used by default)
    • User defined tone-mapping filter chain, including : auto-exposure, Reinhard local and global dynamic range reduction…
    • Support for various RGB color space as output (sRGB, AdobeRGB, Prophoto…)
    • Produces color managed image files
  • Materials & surface properties
    • Many analytic BRDF models : Lambertian, Velvet, Oren-Nayar, Microfacet…
    • Tabulated BRDF support, with spectral, RGB or XYZ data
    • Spectral reflectances and transmittances for specular materials, with optional support for polarized data
    • Computes polarized fresnel reflectances from dielectric properties (n/k or n/a)
    • Volumetric scattering with various models (Henyey-Greenstein, Rayleigh, Uniform)
    • Additive or linear combination BRDF compositing
    • Surface texturation with height maps or normal maps
  • Light sources
    • Support for High resolution HDR envmaps (RGB, XYZ or spectral)
    • Sky light distribution models (CIE, Perez, Preetham, Wilkie)
    • IES sources (planar or spherical)
  • CAD software support
    • Trimble SketchUp
    • McNeel Rhinoceros 5
    • Autodesk 3dsmax 2015 and 2016
    • Other on demand (Maya, Revit, …)

More information

License versions and features may be found here : Versions and pricing

Evaluation versions and software reference may be found on the technical website

For more information about Ocean, help and advice, please contact :