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Friday, December 31, 2010

Annual post

I am barely getting a post in for 2010. This is my stake in the ground that this blog is the lamest one in the world that is technically still active. I welcome competition.

Onto a post. I think in 2010 we have reached a quiet revolution: we can do tens of millions of rays per second quite easily, which means we can get 16 rays per pixel in a second, even with global illumination. This means we can do progressive preview "well enough". If I were to do an MS thesis today, it would be on a UI for such systems.

A question for the future is whether batch rendering system architecture will start being determined by what is good preview, rather than preview trying to match batch.

1 comment:

Dan Maas said...

Indeed, Fabio Pellacini once remarked that we should really start looking at off-line renderers as "beautifiers" for real-time renderers, instead of looking at real-time renderers as approximations of the off-line render.

This requires a unified shading/light transport system that "works" across both the off-line and real-time renderer. Right now there are too many renderer-specific hacks, but I think with the recent push towards BRDF-based shaders and physically-accurate lighting in commercial animation production, this goal is within reach.