Low latency photon mapping using block hashing

Vincent C. H. Ma, Michael D. Mccool
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
In HWWS ’02: Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH/EUROGRAPHICS conference on Graphics hardware (2002), pp. 89-99


   title={Low latency photon mapping using block hashing},

   author={Ma, V.C.H. and McCool, M.D.},

   booktitle={Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH/EUROGRAPHICS conference on Graphics hardware},




   organization={Eurographics Association}


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For hardware accelerated rendering, photon mapping is especially useful for simulating caustic lighting effects on non-Lambertian surfaces. However, an efficient hardware algorithm for the computation of the k nearest neighbours to a sample point is required.Existing algorithms are often based on recursive spatial subdivision techniques, such askd-trees. However, hardware implementation of a tree-based algorithm would have a high latency, or would require a large cache to avoid this latency on average.We present a neighbourhood-preserving hashing algorithm that is low-latency and has sub-linear access time. This algorithm is more amenable to fine-scale parallelism than tree-based recursive spatial subdivision, and maps well onto coherent block-oriented pipelined memory access. These properties make the algorithm suitable for implementation using future programmable fragment shaders with only one stage of dependent texturing.
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