A Study of Real-Time Lighting Effects

Michele Christine Clark
University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota, 2012


   title={A Study of Real-Time Lighting Effects},

   author={Clark, M.C.},




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Realistic lighting is an incredibly complex problem. All surfaces scatter light to all other surfaces. Realistic lighting in volumes of fog or smoke is even more complex because each particle absorbs and scatters light. This problem has been approximated with many techniques but can take hours to produce a single image. Creating these images in realtime is an even harder problem because they need to be produced many times a second. Real-time lighting is important for simulating the real world. Flight simulators and training systems need to be able to accurately simulate adverse conditions such as fog and snow. This work explores different real-time lighting effects such as bloom, airlight, shadows in participating media, and soft shadows. Improvements were made by modifying the airlight to model cone light sources, and exploring the possibility of creating soft shadows in participating media. The result is a more flexible lighting model for real-time participating media.
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