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A Practical Guide to Global Illumination Using Photon Maps

level 16
This advanced tutorial provided the insight necessary to efficiently and practically implement global illumination and shading algorithms based on photon maps. It covered efficient techniques and data-structures for generating photon maps, including use of projection maps and Russian roulette-based sampling. It described how to efficiently integrate information from photon maps in shading algorithms to render global illumination effects such as caustics, color bleeding, and participating media. It presented several examples of scenes rendered using photon maps, discussed how the maps were used, and reviewed issues that were important to ensure good quality and fast results.

A good working knowledge of global illumination algorithms, in particular Monte Carlo ray tracing-based methods.

Efficient and practical techniques for generating and using photon maps. How to use a photon map to compute global illumination effects such as caustics, color bleeding, participating media, and subsurface scattering. Many examples of photon maps and efficient "tricks" that significantly improve the performance of the algorithm.

Henrik Wann Jensen
Stanford University

Niels J. Christensen
Technical University of Denmark

Henrik Wann Jensen
Stanford University


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