Global Illumination Thesis

This thesis presentsseveral methods to improve the speed of global illumination computation, andtherefore enables faster image synthesis.

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Based on voxel cone tracing, we use a filtered representation of a scene to efficiently sample ambient light at each point in the scene.

We present an approach to scene voxelization using hardware tessellation and compare it with an approach utilizing hardware rasterization.

In both common scenes used in graphicsand situations which involve difficult light paths, this method gives a 30 - 70%boost in performance.

The third method in this thesis is a sampling methodwhich improves the efficiency of the common indoor-outdoor lighting scenario.

Lighting is essential to generate realistic images using computer graphics.

Thecomputation of lighting takes into account the multitude of ways which lightpropagates around a virtual scene.We implement these two data structures, and provide detailed descriptions of both with many important implementation details.These descriptions are much more complete than what exists in the current literature, and it is the secondary contribution of this thesis.We find similar performance and quality with both voxelization algorithms.Download Version 1.01(PDF, 33MB) Alternative Download Link Voxel cone tracing is a real-time method that approximates global illumination using a voxel approximation of the original scene.Many things took much more time than I had initially anticipated, and so there simply was not enough time to do everything I wanted to do in the end.The current literature and scientific papers about this topic is very sparse on details, and only describes the very tip of the iceberg.This work proposes three methods which tackle the problem of improving theefficiency of computing global illumination.The first is an interactive methodfor calculating multiple-bounce global illumination on graphics hardware, whichexploits the power of the graphics pipeline to create a voxelised representation ofthe scene through which light transport is computed.The second is an unbiasedphysically-based algorithm for improving the efficiency of path generation whencalculating global illumination in complicated scenes.This is adaptive, and learnsinformation about the lighting in the scene as the rendering progresses, and usesthis to reduce variance in the image.

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