“A radiosity method for non-diffuse environments” by Immel, Cohen and Greenberg

  • ©David S. Immel, Michael F. Cohen, and Donald P. Greenberg




    A radiosity method for non-diffuse environments



    A general radiosity method accounting for all interreflections of light between diffuse and nondiffuse surfaces in complex environments is introduced. As contrasted with previous radiosity methods, surfaces are no longer required to be perfectly diffuse reflectors and emitters. A complete, viewer independent description of the light leaving each surface in each direction is computed, allowing dynamic sequences of images to be rendered with little additional computation per image. Phenomena such as “reflection tracking”, reflections following a moving observer across a specular surface are produced. Secondary light sources, such as the light from a spotlight reflecting off a mirror onto a wall are also accounted for.


    1. Whitted, Turner, “An Improved Illumination the ACM, Vol. 23, No. 6, June I~980, pp. 34–~23 9.
    2. Siegel, Robert and John R. Howell, Thermal Radi at i on Heat Transfer, Hem-~ sphere Publishing Corp., Washington DC., 1981.
    3. Sparrow, E. M. and R. D. Cess, Radiation Heat Transfer, Hemisphere Publishing Corp., Washington DC., 1978.
    4. Goral, Cindy M., Kenneth E. Torrance, Donald P. Greenberg, Bennet Battaile, “Mode}ing the Interaction of Light Between Diffuse Surfaces,” ACM Computer Graphics (Proceedings 1984), pp. 213-222,
    5. Cohen, Michael r. and Donald P. Greenberg, “A Radiosity Solution for Complex Environments,” ACM Computer Graphics (Proceedings 1985), pp. 31’40.
    6. Cohen, Michael F., Donald P. Greenberg, David S. Immel, Philip J. Brock, “An Efficient Radiosity Approach for Real istic Image Synthesis,” IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, March 1986.
    7. Nishita, Tomoyuki, and ~ihachiro Nakamae, “Cont i nuous Tone Representation of Three-Dimensional Objects Taking Account of Shadows and Interreflection,” ACM Computer Graph i cs ( Proceedings 1985), pp .~3{).
    8. Phong, Bui Tuong, Illumination for Computer Generated Images, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Utah, 1973.
    9. Hornbeck, Robert W., Numeri cal Methods, Quantum Publishers, New York, NY, 1974, pp. 101-106.

ACM Digital Library Publication:

Overview Page: