“Illuminating micro geometry based on precomputed visibility” by Heidrich, Daubert, Kautz and Seidel

  • ©Wolfgang Heidrich, Katja Daubert, Jan Kautz, and Hans-Peter Seidel




    Illuminating micro geometry based on precomputed visibility



    Many researchers have been arguing that geometry, bump maps, and BRDFs present a hierarchy of detail that should be exploited for efficient rendering purposes. In practice however, this is often not possible due to inconsistencies in the illumination for these different levels of detail. For example, while bump map rendering often only considers direct illumination and no shadows, geometry-based rendering and BRDFs will mostly also respect shadowing effects, and in many cases even indirect illumination caused by scattered light.
    In this paper, we present an approach for overcoming these inconsistencies. We introduce an inexpensive method for consistently illuminating height fields and bump maps, as well as simulating BRDFs based on precomputed visibility information. With this information we can achieve a consistent illumination across the levels of detail.
    The method we propose offers significant performance benefits over existing algorithms for computing the light scattering in height fields and for computing a sampled BRDF representation using a virtual gonioreflectometer. The performance can be further improved by utilizing graphics hardware, which then also allows for interactive display.
    Finally, our method also approximates the changes in illumination when the height field, bump map, or BRDF is applied to a surface with a different curvature.


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