dont know much about programming will study soon but have so many questions...i was recently researching voxels and see some advantages, i noticed that they are like bitmaps but with a third dimension, so wouldnt this be true if all voxels didnt have color wouldnt the file be smaller as opposed to a voxel model with color (like a bitmap)? ray tracing, wouldnt a render be quicker if a ray tracer engine didnt compute color values...then used some algorithm the put color back into the image after rendering it?

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...or what if two images were rendered, a low quality one for something like color mapping for the black and white render?

Raytracing doesn't take a long time because it's working out colour, it's because of the quantity of light calculations that need to be performed.

If it were as simple as you thought someone would have done that by now ;)
Some of the best technological minds have been trying to figure out realtime raytracing for a while now and gradually it's getting closer and closer to reality :)

Search for Radiosity in google, that can be done in real time.

Radiosity is not ray-tacing per se and for real-time applications it is still "faked" to a certain degree. Also, the accuracy is not true to real world lighting.

The idea behind ray tracing is that the end effect is so close to real world lighting that nothing can tell as it actually simulates photons. Radiosity is a clever trick that simulates ray-tracing to a degree, but in the end is still a trick. It is, however, a great leap forward in photo-realistic lighting. Much the way that Specular, Ambient and Diffuse were when they game out (instead of using pre-rendered light maps)

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