Global illumination and approximating reflectance in real-time

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Nowicki, Tyler B.
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Global illumination techniques are used to improve the realism of 3D scenes. Calculating accurate global illumination requires a method for solving the rendering equation. However, the integral form of this equation cannot be evaluated. This thesis presents research in non real-time illumination techniques which are evaluated with a finite number of light rays. This includes a new technique which improves realism of the scene over traditional techniques. All computer rendering requires distortion free texture mapping to appear plausible to the eye. Inverse texture mapping, however, can be numerically unstable and computationally expensive. Alternative techniques for texture mapping and texture coordinate generation were developed to simplify rendering. Real-time rendering is improved by pre-calculating non real-time reflections. The results of this research demonstrate that a polynomial approximation of reflected light can be more accurate than a constant approximation. The solution improves realism and makes use of new features in graphics hardware.
Graphics, Global Illumination, Real-Time Rendering, PTM