Kitchen, by Jaime Vives Piqueres

Click for a 3600 x 2700 pixel version. This is one of the most astounding Povray scenes written by Jaime-Vives Piqueres in 2004. This is all math, every object in the picture is either built mathematically from basic principles or then a mesh object. The rendering of this picture used 4 days on Olivers linux desktop (which of course is always doing a lot of other things too). As designed, Povray was run twice on the scene, first it generates a radiosity map. A ray tracer's task is to figure out the light level of each point in the scene. There are four different aspects to this: diffusion (light brightens up), specularity (responsible to make things shiny), reflection (showing reflections like in mirrors) and ambience (a concept which prevents objects in shadows (where no photons reach) to be completely black). Povray has a special way to deal with radiosity and looks also about the brightness nearby. This is computationally more costly and the pre-run produces a map which then is used in the actual run to figure out the ambient level. This gives much more photo realistic pictures and this kitchen scene illustrates this well. If one would have done it one run, the ray tracer would send hundreds of photons out into a cone neighborhood of any direction, rather than one photon. Without the prerun, the computation would have needed weeks. What is nice about Povray is that it is unique in its way. There are plains files, and your run povray on it. There are no hidden parameters like in modelers or commercial programs, by providing the source, you prove that it is done genuine without cheat like photoshop. In its form it is similar than Latex for text processing (it also shares the property that every line of its source code is open source). But open source goes further, you give the source of the scene and povray produces the document. You have to see the following picture on a larger screen possibly 5K (click on it to see it large, then click again as the browser scales it to fit the screen):
The original picture was done by Jaime-Vives-Piqueres.