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.


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.

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