Realistic Lighting Simulation for Interactive VR Applications

Alexander Loffler, Lukas Marsalek, Hilko Hoffmann, Philipp Slusallek
Saarland University, Saarbrucken, Germany
Virtual Environments 2011 – Proceedings of the Joint Virtual Reality Conference of euroVR and EGVE (JVRC), 2011


   author={Alexander L"offler and Lukas Marsalek and Hilko Hoffmann and Philipp Slusallek},

   title={Realistic Lighting Simulation for Interactive VR Applications},

   booktitle={Virtual Environments 2011 – Proceedings of the Joint Virtual Reality Conference of euroVR and EGVE (JVRC)},




   publisher={Eurographics Association},

   location={Nottingham, UK},

   keywords={Realistic Lighting Simulation, Virtual Reality, User Interfaces},



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In the field of aircraft design, interior illumination increasingly becomes an important design element. Different illumination scenarios inside an aircraft cabin are considered to influence the mood of air passengers, help passengers to be better prepared for time lags and to create an overall positive environment. Consequently, a physically correct and realistic lighting simulation becomes essential during the design process. Available tools are producing videos or still images of illumination settings. The main reason for this is that realistic lighting simulation is believed to require heavy offline processing and unfeasible to do from within a real-time system. On the other hand, interactive Virtual Reality (VR) applications are an appropriate tool to experience an aircraft cabin under different illuminations. The ability to integrate lighting simulations into VR applications would simplify the design process remarkably by skipping time-consuming context and tool switches. In this paper, we present a solution for integrating realistic lighting simulation with interactive performance into a single VR application. We explain our integration of real-time ray tracing, interactive global illumination, and measured point lights in a VR system, and its combination with classic rasterization techniques. We describe suitable interaction metaphors to enable realistic lighting simulation, high interactivity and intuitive interaction in an application for light design inside an aircraft cabin.
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