“The Area Perspective Transform: A Homogeneous Transform for Efficient In-Volume Queries” by Hunt and Johnson

  • ©Warren Hunt and Gregory S. Johnson




    The Area Perspective Transform: A Homogeneous Transform for Efficient In-Volume Queries



    A key problem in applications such as soft shadows and defocus blur is to identify points or primitives which are inside a volume of space. For example, the soft shadow computation involves finding surfaces which pass in front of an area light as viewed from a point p in the scene. The desired surfaces are those which are inside a frustum defined by the light and p, and can be found by intersecting the frustum with an acceleration structure over geometry. However, accurately computing this intersection is computationally intensive.
    In this article, we introduce a homogeneous transform which reduces the computation required to determine the set of points or primitives which are inside a tetrahedral volume. The transform converts tetrahedra into axis-aligned boxes, substantially reducing the cost of intersection with an axis-aligned acceleration structure over points or primitives. We describe the application of this transform to soft shadows and defocus blur, and briefly consider potential uses of the underlying mathematical approach in higher-dimensional problems.


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