Introduction
to Ocean Light Simulator

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.

Decomposition of light by a prism simulated by Ocean
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.

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.

Floor illuminance computed on the fully detailed building model
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.

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

Car render with metallic paint and athermic windshield

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 models : 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
  • CAD software support

    • Trimble SketchUp
    • McNeel Rhinoceros 5
    • Autodesk
    • 3dsmax 2015 and 2016
    • Other on demand (Maya, Revit, …)
  • 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
  • Photo-realistic image rendering

    • Multiple camera models : perspective, realistic aberrated, fisheye, orthoscopic, spherical
    • User defined observer response spectra (CIE 1931 2° 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
  • 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)
  • Bringing Optical Light Simulation
    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.
    And this without making simplifications on light transfer, such as limiting the number of bounces.
  • Photometry & radiometry

    Ocean is not only a renderer : it is a multi purpose light transfer simulation tool. Light is gathered by virtual instrument objects, ranging from realistic cameras to light sensors. Using the same scene, material and lighting set-up, the user can quickly switch from image rendering to floor illuminance mapping, for instance. Combined with the flexibility of user-defined observer sensitivity spectra and post processing filter chains, setting-up an energy irradiance sensor, a spectral camera or a human eye is a simple process.
  • Full-spectral calculations

    Unlike most computer graphic programs, Ocean features a full spectral lighting algorithm. Light transfer is computed for every wavelength of the visible spectrum, retaining all the color information across the multiple bounces on materials. It is converted to classical color spaces, such as RGB or XYZ, at the very end of the calculation process. Color space conversion is fully customizable and allows simulation of phenomena such as night vision or partial color blindness. Exporting spectral information is also possible.
  • Exact solution of geometric optics

    Ocean makes no approximation over the laws of geometric optics. Every light path significantly contributing to the result is considered. This allows simulating very complex lighting situations without any effort other than modelling the scene and setting up materials. Ocean will automatically converge to the solution, after a time which depends on the lighting complexity.

    This glass pool scene is an example of complex lighting. Direct sunlight is refracted by the water ripples, which causes bright caustics on the walls. These caustics are seen through the plexiglass wall after two additional refractions (water/plexiglass and plexiglass/air), but are also a secondary light source, which emits light, and creates new reflections and caustics. The bright tile walls and total reflections at interfaces allow light to bounce many times before reaching the observer.
  • Light polarization

    Similarly to spectral information, the program tracks the polarization state of every ray. This allows accurate simulation of materials such as glass, water or metals, not well handled by scalar optics. This is especially differentiating in situations with multiple reflections or when the light source itself emits polarized light, such as blue sky.

    With advanced materials such as coated glass, which tint light differently depending on its polarization state, polarized optics are required for good colorimetric predictions.