Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ambient occlusion

I am doing some reading on ambient occlusion and I would appreciate pointers to recent papers. Here is a TR from Morgan M. on using the analytic form factor equation which is cool. Please reply for other things I should read!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Shadow artifact

Here is a photo in my living room of a real shadow from windows. The multiple panes give a nasty "artifact". With artificial lighting these are even more common.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Ray tracing BOF at SIGGRAPH

On Tuesday from 5-6pm in the Sheraton we'll have some ray tracing demos from academics and industry. We should be able to stay in the room after for more demos and talking. Should be an informal affair. Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A neat trick for ray collisions in nonuniform media

Mattias Rabb showed me a really neat trick a few years ago that this post will share. He found it in a paper I had never seen by Coleman in 1967. Kudos to Mattias for not only finding this paper, but managing to find this trick in it (I would not have understood it had he not told me what was there). It gives a way to compute an unbiased random hitpoint for a light particle and a nonuniform density.

Recall that for a uniform density volume this can be done analytically. Given a canonical random number X (e.g., a call to drand48()), and a medium with interaction coefficient s (the probability of a collision in a small distance d is sd), we have distance = -log(1-X)/s (see Dutre et al., p 241 for a derivation of this classic result).

In a photon tracing program we would use this as follows:

X = drand48()
d = -log(1-X)/s
newposition = rayorigin + d*raydirection // assumes unit length direction
scatter or absorb

No suppose s(x,y,z) is a function of position like a call to noise or whatever. Usually we would resort to ray maching with small steps that assume s is locally constant. This is a pain in the same family as ray epsilons. But the Coleman paper has a lovely trick when s(x,y,z) is always less than a known smax. Pretend the medium is all constant smax, take a step as above, and sometimes reject the result:

d = 0
while (1) {
X = drand48()
d += -log(1-X)/smax
Y = drand48()
newposition = rayorigin + d*raydirection
if (s(newposition)/smax > Y) break

This takes a bunch of random steps and is unbaised (I would love to see a clean proof of this-- I don't follow Coleman's). I think it saved us something like 5X in our adjoint photon tracer.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

EGSR 2009

The deadline for my favorite conference is coming up:
From Salt Lake to Barcelona is less then $900 (and I didn't look hard-- maybe much cheaper) so this looks like a feasible year to go!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

HPG 2009

The new HPG 2009 conference should be an excellent place to submit papers now:


Deadline in about a month.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Andrew Kensler's new ray tracer

The latest in a long and distinguished line of short ray tracers. This time with blur!


Clearly Andrew needs to start doing some demoscene.

PS-- I am about to head of to EPGPV and EG. Hope to see some of you over a beer and pretzel in Munich!