“The accumulation buffer: hardware support for high-quality rendering” by Haeberli and Akeley

  • ©Paul E. Haeberli and Kurt Akeley




    The accumulation buffer: hardware support for high-quality rendering

Session/Category Title: Hardware




    This paper describes a system architecture that supports realtime generation of complex images, efficient generation of extremely high-quality images, and a smooth trade-off between the two.Based on the paradigm of integration, the architecture extends a state-of-the-art rendering system with an additional high-precision image buffer. This additional buffer, called the Accumulation Buffer, is used to integrate images that are rendered into the framebuffer. While originally conceived as a solution to the problem of aliasing, the Accumulation Buffer provides a general solution to the problems of motion blur and depth-of-field as well.Because the architecture is a direct extension of current workstation rendering technology, we begin by discussing the performance and quality characteristics of that technology. The problem of spatial aliasing is then discussed, and the Accumulation Buffer is shown to be a desirable solution. Finally the generality of the Accumulation Buffer is explored, concentrating on its application to the problems of motion blur, depth-of-field, and soft shadows.


    1. {Akeley 88} Kurt Akeley, and Tom Jermoluk, “High- Performance Polygon Rendering”, Computer Graphics, 1988.
    2. {Apgar 88} Brian Apgar, et al., “A Display System for the Stellar Graphics Supercomputer Model GS 1000”, Computer Graphics, 1988.
    3. {Brotman 84} Lynne Shapiro Brotman and Norman I. Badler, “Generating Soft Shadows with a Depth Buffer Algorithm”, IEEE CG+A October, 1984.
    4. {Carpenter 84} Loren Carpenter, “The A-buffer, an Antialiased Hidden Surface Method” Computer Graphics, 1984.
    5. {Cook 84} Robert L. Cook et al., “Distributed Ray Tracing”, Computer Graphics, 1984.
    6. {Cook 86} Robert L. Cook, “Stochastic Sampling in Computer Graphics”, ACM Transactions on Graphics, January, 1986
    7. {Deering 88} Michael Deering, et al., “The Triangle Processor and Normal Vector Shader: A VLSI System for High Performance Graphics”, Computer Graphics, 1988.
    8. {Dippe 85} Mark A. Z. Dippe’ and Erlin Henry World, “Antialiasing Through Stochastic Sampling”, Computer Graphics, 1985.
    9. {E&S 87} Evans and Sutherland, PS 390 Marke’~ing Brochure, 1987.
    10. {Fuchs 85} Henry Fuchs, et al., “Fast Spheres, Shadows, Texture, Transparencies, and Image Enhancements in Pixel-Planes”, Computer Graphics, 1985.
    11. {Goldfeather 86} Jack Goldfeather, et al., “Fast Constructive-Solid Geometry Display in the Pixel-Powers Graphics System”, Computer Graphics, 1986.
    12. {Heckbert 86} Paul S. Heckbert,'”Filtering by Repeated Integration”, Computer Graphics, 1986.
    13. {Kajiya 85}, James T. Kajiya, “Anisotropic Reflection Models”, Computer Graphics, 1985.
    14. {Kajiya 86} James T. Kajiya, “The Rendering Equation” Computer Graphics, 1986.
    15. {Mammen 89} Abraham Mammen, “Transparency and Antialiasing Algorithms Implemented with the Virtual Pixel Maps Technique”, IEEE CG+A, July 1989.
    16. {Max 85} Max, Nelson L., and Douglas M. Lerner, “A Two-and-a-Half-D Motion Blur Algorithm”, Computer Graphics, 1985.
    17. {Potmesil 82} Potmesil, Michael, and Indranil Chakravarty, “Synthetic Image Generation with a Lens and Aperture Camera Model”, ACM Transactions on Graphics, April 1982.
    18. {Potmesil 83} Potmesil, Michael and lndranil Chakravarty, “Modeling Motion Blur in Computer Generated Images”, Computer Graphics, 1983.
    19. {Potmesil 89} Michael Potmesil, and Eric M. Hoffert, “The Pixel Machine: A Parallel Image Computer”, Computer Graphics, 1989.
    20. {Reeves 87} William T. Reeves, et al., “Rendering Anti- Aliased Shadows with Depth Maps”, Computer Graphics, 1987.
    21. {SGI 85} Silicon Graphics, “Silicon Graphics 3000 Technical Report”, 1985.
    22. {Star 89} Star Technologies, “Graphicon 2000 Technical Overview”, 1989.
    23. {Swanson 86} Roger W. Swanson, and Larry J. Thayer, “A Fast Shaded-Polygon Renderer”, Computer Graphics, 1986.

ACM Digital Library Publication:

Overview Page: