“Integrating Clipped Spherical Harmonics Expansions” by Belcour, Xie, Hery, Meyer, Jarosz, et al. …

  • ©Laurent Belcour, Guofu Xie, Christophe Hery, Mark Meyer, Wojciech Jarosz, and Derek Nowrouzezahrai




    Integrating Clipped Spherical Harmonics Expansions

Session/Category Title:   Smart Integration for Real-Time Rendering




    Many applications in rendering rely on integrating functions over spherical polygons. We present a new numerical solution for computing the integral of spherical harmonics (SH) expansions clipped to polygonal domains. Our solution, based on zonal decompositions of spherical integrands and discrete contour integration, introduces an important numerical operating for SH expansions in rendering applications. Our method is simple, efficient, and scales linearly in the bandlimited integrand’s harmonic expansion. We apply our technique to problems in rendering, including surface and volume shading, hierarchical product importance sampling, and fast basis projection for interactive rendering. Moreover, we show how to handle general, nonpolynomial integrands in a Monte Carlo setting using control variates. Our technique computes the integral of bandlimited spherical functions with performance competitive to (or faster than) more general numerical integration methods for a broad class of problems, both in offline and interactive rendering contexts. Our implementation is simple, relying only on self-contained SH evaluation and discrete contour integration routines, and we release a full source CPU-only and shader-based implementations (<750 lines of commented code).


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