Final Project Proposal: Caterpillar

Tarang Vaish & Shradha Budhiraja

Project Goal

We wish to model a catterpillar resting on a stem or a leaf. The caterpillar's body is covered with spiny bristles or long fine hairs. These are translucent and vary in their trnsparency and thickness. The skin of the caterpillar looks soft and fur-like. They have long segmented translucent bodies which usually have band-like repeating patterns.


Caterpillars come in varying colors and types from ugly-looking creepy insects to spectacular creatures. They have an excellent property of camouflaging which often keeps them hidden in the surroundings. They usually just live for a few weeks before they turn into butterflies. A number of people have rendered utterflies in the past exhibiting its beautiful wings and other iridiscent properties. But, we were spellbound by the images of caterpillars on the web and decided to render this beautiful aspect of nature.

On the technical side, we intend to add sub-surface scattering to PBRT .

Technical Challenges

1. Sub-Surface Scattering - As can be seen in the first image, the skin and the tenatcles/hair on the body of the caterpillar are translucent and slimy looking. We intend to simulate this effect using sub-surface scattering techniques. Following the paper on "A Practical Model for Subsurface Light Transport", (Jensen, Marschner, Levoy and Hanrahan) we intend to account for light transport between different locations on the surface. We also intend to simulate both the directional component (due to single scattering) as well as the diffuse component (due to multiple scattering).