Loading a PLY dataset is as simple as adding the following scene element.
< shape type="ply" >
< string name="filename" value="dragon.ply"/ >
< bsdf type="roughdielectric" >
< ! -- Tweak the roughness parameter of the material -- >
< float name="alpha" value="0.01" / >
< / bsdf >
< / shape >
As can be seen it is very simple. Just change the shape's type to ply and then add the shape's bsdf. Here we have chosen a rough dielectric material to give the dragon a glass appearance. You can change the roughness value which controls how clear the glass is.
I rendered the glass dragon using path tracing, photon mapping, path space MLT (PSMLT), primary sample space MLT (PSSMLT) and energy redistribution path tracing (ERPT). The results are as follows