“Single scattering in refractive media with triangle mesh boundaries” by Walter, Zhao, Holzschuch and Bala

  • ©Bruce J. Walter, Shuang Zhao, Nicolas Holzschuch, and Kavita Bala




    Single scattering in refractive media with triangle mesh boundaries



    Light scattering in refractive media is an important optical phenomenon for computer graphics. While recent research has focused on multiple scattering, there has been less work on accurate solutions for single or low-order scattering. Refraction through a complex boundary allows a single external source to be visible in multiple directions internally with different strengths; these are hard to find with existing techniques. This paper presents techniques to quickly find paths that connect points inside and outside a medium while obeying the laws of refraction. We introduce: a half-vector based formulation to support the most common geometric representation, triangles with interpolated normals; hierarchical pruning to scale to triangular meshes; and, both a solver with strong accuracy guarantees, and a faster method that is empirically accurate. A GPU version achieves interactive frame rates in several examples.


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