Picture of terrain with formulae and numbers
This image was entered in the May/June 1997 Internet Ray-Tracing Competition for the theme of Physics and Math. Be sure to notice the link to "View previous rounds" on the IRTC page, or you may miss the hundreds of incredible submissions that reside there!

As my first submission to the IRTC, this image forced me to learn a lot of new tricks with POVray, but there were a lot of things I had not figured out (like how a simple surface normal would have helped the ground appearance or how to do a better job on motion blur).

The idea behind the image is that most things in nature can be described mathematically, so I tried to show the numbers hiding behind certain things, like a falling leaf or the placement of leaves around a branch. All in all, I liked the shadows, but there are a number of problems with the image overall. Live and learn!

All rights to the above image are reserved by its creator, Aaron Gage.