Ray Traced Image<!-- --> | Amy Lo

Ray Traced Image

A Mulan-inspired ray-traced image using Blender Cycles.

Updated March 24, 2021 – 5 min read

Mockup of two phone screens showcasing donations next to Google logo in the center.


Our ray-traced image used Blender Cycles to generate a Mulan-inspired scene for CS 148: Introduction to Computer Graphics. We modeled the geometry for the trees, stones, water, the bridge, and the ground from scratch. The bridge, lily pads, lotus flower, and tree were custom UV-unwrapped and painted in Photoshop. The water and stones' texture were procedurally generated. Petals and cherry blossoms used a phsyics-based particle system to generate, and additional features such as volumetric emission, depth of field, motion blur, and denoising were added to the scene.

My Role

Procedural Materials
Physics-based Particle Systems

Tools used



Vivian Xiao


3 weeks, March 2021

Project Overview

I worked on procedural materials for the water and stone, lighting the scene and sky, an emitter for floating petals with motion blur, a hair particle system to scatter cherry blossoms on the tree, and denoising in the scene. I also collaborated with my partner on adding volumetric emission and depth of field, and the layout and camera placement for final renders. Feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more.

otter dancing with a fish
A different angle looking over the full scene.
otter dancing with a fish
Volumetric scattering cube and textures removed.


We wanted to create a garden scene featuring a pond with lily pads and a cherry blossom tree. My partner and I wanted to achieve a stylized look to our scene inspired by low-poly artwork with a touch of realism. We wanted our image to be resemblant of a relaxing, garden scene you’d see in Mulan – to evoke a quiet, tranquil quality. Games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons were also an inspiration for the setting and mood of our scene, especially how they blend bright, pastel colors with a soft, understated look.

In our image, we combine the still mountains and greenery with elements of movement in the reflections of the water and the floating cherry blossom petals. The viewer is meant to peer at the view, focusing on the lotus flower on the water. We set the camera with the lotus off-center, framed by the cherry blossom tree and the floating petals to guide your eyes into the bridge to the distant mountains.


The cherry blossom tree was inspired by the garden scene from Mulan. The composition of lily pads in a pond surrounded by stones was also inspired from the scene. From the left image, we were inspired by the lighting and intricacy of the steps and blossoms. To accomplish this in our project, we used volumetric emission to create a hazy, dream-like effect for our image.

Moodboard featuring Mulan.