“Robust Adaptive Photon Tracing Using Photon-Path Visibility” by Hachisuka and Jensen

  • ©Toshiya Hachisuka and Henrik Wann Jensen




    Robust Adaptive Photon Tracing Using Photon-Path Visibility

Session/Category Title:   Global Illumination




    We present a new adaptive photon tracing algorithm which can handle illumination settings that are considered difficult for photon tracing approaches such as outdoor scenes, close-ups of a small part of an illuminated region, and illumination coming through a small gap. The key contribution in our algorithm is the use of visibility of photon path as the importance function which ensures that our sampling algorithm focuses on paths that are visible from the given viewpoint. Our sampling algorithm builds on two recent developments in Markov chain Monte Carlo methods: adaptive Markov chain sampling and replica exchange. Using these techniques, each photon path is adaptively mutated and it explores the sampling space efficiently without being stuck at a local peak of the importance function. We have implemented this sampling approach in the progressive photon mapping algorithm which provides visibility information in a natural way when a photon path contributes to a measurement point. We demonstrate that the final algorithm is strikingly simple, yet effective at sampling photons under lighting conditions that would be difficult for existing Monte Carlo ray tracing-based methods.


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