“Path tracing in Production” by Pieké, Gamito, Hery, Villemin, Emrose, et al. …

  • ©Rob Pieké, Manuel Gamito, Christophe Hery, Ryusuke Villemin, Luke Emrose, and Andre C. Mazzone



Entry Number: 15


    Path tracing in Production

Course Organizer(s):



    The last few years have seen a decisive move of the movie making industry towards rendering using physically based methods, mostly implemented in terms of path tracing. While path tracing reached most VFX houses and animation studios at a time when a physically based approach to rendering and especially material modelling was already firmly established, the new tools brought with them a whole new balance, and many new workflows have evolved to find a new equilibrium. Letting go of instincts based on hard-learned lessons from a previous time has been challenging for some, and many different takes on a practical deployment of the new technologies have emerged. While the language and toolkit available to the technical directors keep closing the gap between lighting in the real world and the light transport simulations ran in software, an understanding of the limitations of the simulation models and a good intuition of the tradeoffs and approximations at play are of fundamental importance to make efficient use of the available resources. In this course, the novel workflows emerged during the transitions at a number of large facilities are presented to a wide audience including technical directors, artists, and researchers.

    Basic mathematical understanding, interest in light transport and movies. While prior knowledge certainly helps (such as having read the PBRT book), we will try to give gentle introductions to every topic.


    Intended Audience
    Although advanced in nature, we want to engage a wide audience including technical directors, artists, their producers and managers, as well as researchers.

    This course offers a brief introduction to Monte Carlo path tracing for photo-realistic image synthesis followed by a practical perspective on existing algorithms and their performance as well as essential tricks used in the challenging daily work of rendering professionals. The speakers cover diverse backgrounds such as animation and VFX.

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