The State of the Art in Interactive Global Illumination

Tobias Ritschel, Carsten Dachsbacher, Thorsten Grosch, Jan Kautz
Telecom ParisTech / CNRS (LTCI)
Comput. Graph. Forum. 31, 2012


   title={The State of the Art in Interactive Global Illumination},

   author={Ritschel, Tobias and Dachsbacher, Carsten and Grosch, Thorsten and Kautz, Jan}year={2012}


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The interaction of light and matter in the world surrounding us is of striking complexity and beauty. Since the very beginning of computer graphics, adequate modeling of these processes and efficient computation is an intensively studied research topic and still not a solved problem. The inherent complexity stems from the underlying physical processes as well as the global nature of the interactions that let light travel within a scene. This article reviews the state of the art in interactive global illumination computation, that is, methods that generate an image of a virtual scene in less than one second with an as exact as possible, or plausible, solution to the light transport. Additionally, the theoretical background and attempts to classify the broad field of methods are described. The strengths and weaknesses of different approaches, when applied to the different visual phenomena, arising from light interaction are compared and discussed. Finally, the article concludes by highlighting design patterns for interactive global illumination and a list of open problems.
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