A Comprehensive Theory of Volumetric Radiance Estimation Using Photon Points and Beams


Wojciech Jarosz1, 2 Derek Nowrouzezahrai1, 3 Iman Sadeghi 2 Henrik Wann Jensen2

1Disney Research Zürich, 2UC San Diego, 3University of Toronto


ACM Transactions on Graphics, presented at SIGGRAPH 2011


We present two contributions to the area of volumetric rendering. We develop a novel, comprehensive theory of volumetric radiance estimation that leads to several new insights and includes all previously published estimates as special cases. This theory allows for estimating in-scattered radiance at a point, or accumulated radiance along a camera ray, with the standard photon particle representation used in previous work. Furthermore, we generalize these operations to include a more compact, and more expressive intermediate representation of lighting in participating media, which we call "photon beams." The combination of these representations and their respective query operations results in a collection of nine distinct volumetric radiance estimates.

Our second contribution is a more efficient rendering method for participating media based on photon beams. Even when shooting and storing less photons and using less computation time, our method significantly reduces both bias (blur) and variance in volumetric radiance estimation. This enables us to render sharp lighting details (e.g. volume caustics) using just tens of thousands of photon beams, instead of the millions to billions of photon points required with previous methods.


ACM Digital Library


Text Reference:

Wojciech Jarosz, Derek Nowrouzezahrai, Iman Sadeghi, and Henrik Wann Jensen. A comprehensive theory of volumetric radiance estimation using photon points and beams. ACM Transactions on Graphics (Presented at ACM SIGGRAPH 2011), 30(1):5:1–5:19, January 2011.

BibTex Reference:

	author = {Jarosz, Wojciech and Nowrouzezahrai, Derek and Sadeghi, Iman and Jensen, Henrik Wann},
	title = {A Comprehensive Theory of Volumetric Radiance Estimation Using Photon Points and Beams},
	journal = {ACM Transactions on Graphics (Presented at SIGGRAPH 2011).},
	volume = {30},
	number = {1},
	month = jan,
	year = {2011},
	pages = {5:1--5:19},

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