Raphaël Améaume

Freelance Creative Technologist.

Based in Paris, France.

36 Days of Type

Raymarching the alphabet

  • JavaScript
  • WebGL
  • Shaders

36 Days of Type is a yearly challenge where people from various creative disciplines (typography, motion, 3D, illustration…) design a letter or number each day for 36 consecutive days (26 letters of the Latin alphabet and numbers from 0 to 9). I decided to take on the challenge by learning raymarching techniques along the way, after attending a workshop by Flopine about 2D and 3D signed distance fields.

I’ve been working with 2D signed distance fields for the last two years but never come really close to raymarching. I tried to learn it one year ago but didn’t have the time to dive into the subject back then and my attempts at drawing stuff were…pretty poor. The course by Flopine was really great and somehow desacralised what I had in mind about the matter. All the tricks I’ve been using in 2D to cut/assemble/distord shapes are pretty much the same so I could applied them to 3D quite easily.

I started from an empty scene with an existing directional light, ambient occlusion and shadows computations in order to have something that would look visually interesting even if very basic.