Source: ACM SIGGRAPH Citation
ACM SIGGRAPH presents the Computer Graphics Achievement Award to Greg Ward, for the development of the Radiance Synthetic Imaging System. Radiance promoted the use of computer graphics in applications requiring physical accuracy, and raised the bar for the quality and efficiency of graphics rendering algorithms. Radiance has been distributed without cost since 1989. As such, it anticipated the Web or the Open Source movement. It has been used as a tool in many disciplines and as a software testbed in computer graphics research. It is now in its 19th release and is the subject of an annual, international workshop.
Radiance established computer graphics rendering as a tool in lighting design, and has been used in this way around the world. It has also found application in areas as diverse as aerospace and forensics. The results of Radiance have been thoroughly validated, and its reliability has contributed to raising the perception of graphically realistic rendering as a serious tool in many disciplines. The clean, flexible design of Greg’s software has contributed to its continuing usefulness and popularity.
Radiance has served as the vehicle of distribution for many innovations in rendering that Greg developed. The long line of contributions includes irradiance caching, the Ward anisotropic reflectance model, the RGBE high dynamic range image format, and two different tone mapping operators. When Greg publishes an algorithm you don’t have to wonder if it works: you can download it in Radiance and try it yourself. Radiance has played an important role as a benchmark and a testbed. In proposing a new rendering method, it became inadequate simply to show you could generate an image. You needed to show that your method gave better results than those generated by Radiance. As illumination algorithms became more complex, access to Radiance source code made it possible to build on the best of existing algorithms to move rendering forward.
Greg’s contributions to graphics extend beyond Radiance to the invention of devices for rendering input and output. He designed and built one of the first reflectance measurement devices specifically intended for the type of data required for realistic rendering applications. He recently co-invented a high dynamic range display capable of displaying the output of Radiance simulations as well as captured high dynamic range imagery. Greg has continued his practice of
making his software freely available by releasing Photosphere, a package for browsing and building HDR images.
We are pleased to present Greg Ward with this award for advancing the state of the art of computer graphics and for making high quality rendering accessible to a large community of users.