Skip to content
Switch branches/tags


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time

Ray Tracing in One Weekend Book Series

RT in One Weekend RT The Next Week RT The Rest of Your Life
In One Weekend The Next Week The Rest of Your Life

Getting the Books

The Ray Tracing in One Weekend series of books are now available to the public for free directly from the web:

These books have been formatted for both screen and print. For printed copies, or to create PDF versions, use the print function in your browser.

Project Status

We just shipped a tiny release, v3.2.3, to get out two quick small fixes. Mostly we're very heads-down right now working on our major v4 release. Lots of changes. If you'd like to check it out, we're developing on the dev-major branch. We're tackling some larger refactorings to further simplify the code, address some large outstanding issues, and focus on more development and expansion of book 3: Ray Tracing: The Rest of Your Life.

If you have a change you'd like to contribute, please see our contribution guidelines.

GitHub Discusions

GitHub just released GitHub Discussions — a new feature to host conversations in a project without requiring everything to be an issue. This is likely a much better way to post questions, ask for advice, or just generally talk about the project. Is it useful? Don't know, but let's give it a shot!.

Directory Structure

The organization of this repository is meant to be simple and self-evident at a glance:


This folder contains the three raytracing books (in HTML), and some supporting material.


Contains all of the images and figures of the books. Can also be used to compare your results.


Contains the css for the books and the site.


Contains the source.


Contains any headers that are common to two or more books. This is also where external headers are stored.


Contains the source specific to any one book. Their is no sharing of source outside of the common directory.

Source Code


This repository is not meant to act as its own tutorial. The source is provided so you can compare your work when progressing through the book. We strongly recommend reading and following along with the book to understand the source. Ideally, you'll be developing your own implmentation as you go, in order to deeply understand how a raytracer works.

Downloading The Source Code

The GitHub home for this project contains all source and documentation associated with the Ray Tracing in One Weekend book series. To clone or download the source code, see the green "Clone or download" button in the upper right of the project home page.

Programming Language

This book is written in C++, and uses some modern features of C++11. The language and features were chosen to be broadly understood by the largest collection of programmers. It is not meant to represent ideal (or optimized) C++ code.

Implementations in Other Languages

The Ray Tracing in One Weekend series has a long history of implementations in other programming languages (see Implementations in Other Languages), and across different operating systems. Feel free to add your own implementation to the list!


The master branch contains the latest released (and live) assets. All ongoing development, with all of the latest changes, can be found in the dev-patch, dev-minor, and dev-major branches. We try to keep up to date, so you can easily browse what's new in each development branch.

Building and Running

Copies of source are provided for you to check your work and compare against. If you wish to build the provided source, this project uses CMake. To build, go to the root of the project directory and run the following commands to create the debug version of every executable:

$ cmake -B build
$ cmake --build build

You can specify the target with the --target <program> option, where the program may be inOneWeekend, theNextWeek, theRestOfYourLife, or any of the demonstration programs. By default (with no --target option), CMake will build all targets.

On Windows, you can build either debug (the default) or release (the optimized version). To specify this, use the --config <debug|release> option.

CMake GUI on Windows

You may choose to use the CMake GUI when building on windows.

  1. Open CMake GUI on Windows
  2. For "Where is the source code:", set to location of the copied directory. For example, C:\Users\Peter\
  3. Add the folder "build" within the location of the copied directory. For example, C:\Users\Peter\\build.
  4. For "Where to build the binaries", set this to the newly-created build directory.
  5. Click "Configure".
  6. For "Specify the generator for this project", set this to your version of Visual Studio.
  7. Click "Done".
  8. Click "Configure" again.
  9. Click "Generate".
  10. In File Explorer, navigate to build directory and double click the newly-created .sln project.
  11. Build in Visual Studio.

If the project is succesfully cloned and built, you can then use the native terminal of your operating system to simply print the image to file.

Running The Programs

On Linux or OSX, from the terminal, run like this:

$ build/inOneWeekend > image.ppm

On Windows, run like this:

build\debug\inOneWeekend > image.ppm

or, run the optimized version (if you've built with --config release):

build\release\inOneWeekend > image.ppm

The generated PPM file can be viewed directly as a regular computer image, if your operating system supports this image type. If your system doesn't handle PPM files, then you should be able to find PPM file viewers online. We like ImageMagick.

Corrections & Contributions

If you spot errors, have suggested corrections, or would like to help out with the project, please review the CONTRIBUTING document for the most effective way to proceed.