Programming Lab Course: Interactive Global Illumination



Raytracing , invented by Whitted in the early eighties, introduced a firstglimpse of photo-realism in computer graphics. Over the years manyextensions of the basic raytracing algorithm such as Monte-CarloRaytracing or Photon Mapping were developed and enabled the simulationof more and more complex phenomena such as realistic materials, causticsand diffuse inter-reflections.

While the quality of the images generated by such so-called globalillumination algorithms now closely resembles photographs, the maindrawback of the methods is still their high computational cost (complexscenes take hours or even days). Therefore current research focuses oninteractive or even real-time raytracing. By algorithmic improvementsand exploitation of the power of modern GPUs several steps towards thisgoal have already been made.

In this practical course, we will first cover the basics of current globalillumination algorithms. Based on this overview, we will implement astandard raytracing and a Photon-Mapping algorithm and discuss recentdevelopments in the field of interactive raytracing.

Schedule: 8 - 26 September 2003 (4 days per week á 4 hours)


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