The Materials and Geometry Format

Version 1.0, May 1995

Greg Ward, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, GJWard@Lbl.Gov


What makes MGF special?

What does MGF look like?

MGF's place in the world of standards

MGF Basics

Entities and Contexts

Hierarchical Contexts and Transformations

Detailed MGF Example

MGF Entity Reference

MGF Translators

MGF Parser Library

Application Notes

Relation to Standard Practices in Computer Graphics

Relation to IESNA LM-63 and Luminaire Catalogs


The MGF language grew out of a joint investigation into physical representations for rendering undertaken by the author (Greg Ward of LBL) and Holly Rushmeier of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. After deciding that a complete and robust specification was an extreme challenge, we shelved the project for another time. A few months later, the author spoke with Ian Ashdown and Robert Shakespeare, who are both members of the IES Computing Committee, about the need for extending the existing data standard to include luminaire geometry and near-field photometry. We then moved forward as a team towards a somewhat less ambitious approach to physical materials and geometry that had the advantage of simplicity and the possibility of support with a standard parser library. The author went to work over the next two months on the detailed design of the language and an ANSI-C parser, with regular feedback from the other three team members. Several months and several versions later, we arrived at release 1.0, which is the occasion of this document's creation.

Funding for this work... would be nice.