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In regards to accurate ray tracing in Blender, I want to find (ideally open source) software that can accurately simulate reflection of focused laser light from a metallic surface, using forward ray tracing, as part of my research. In particular, I would like to accurately simulate caustics. Is this possible in Blender using Cycles? Or do I have to use a different rendering engine?

Thanks in advance

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  • $\begingroup$ The simple answer is: no, it's not the best for simulating what you have in mind, and it uses backward ray tracing, not forward ray tracing. $\endgroup$ Jul 1 at 9:26
  • $\begingroup$ See blender.stackexchange.com/a/91223/29586 and related answers. The linked one is using OSL to produce a render based on the reflective caustics. However, the 'accepted' answer is using Luxrender and could provide useful information. $\endgroup$ Jul 1 at 22:13
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Check out https://luxcorerender.org/

It's much better suited than Cycles when it comes to caustics and realistic light behavior. Also, it's open source and has got a rather neat blender exporter, so you should be able to use it without too much hassle!

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