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A Unified Hierarchical Algorithm for Global Illumination with Scattering Volumes and Object Clusters

François X. Sillion 1
1 iMAGIS - Models, Algorithms and Geometry for Computer Generated Image Graphics
GRAVIR - IMAG - Graphisme, Vision et Robotique, Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes
Abstract : This paper presents a new radiosity algorithm that allows the simultaneous computation of energy exchanges between surface elements, scattering volume distributions, and groups of surfaces, or object clusters. The new technique is based on a hierarchical formulation of the zonal method, and efficiently integrates volumes and surfaces. In particular no initial linking stage is needed, even for inhomogeneous volumes, thanks to the construction of a global spatial hierarchy. An analogy between object clusters and scattering volumes results in a powerful clustering radiosity algorithm, with no initial linking between surfaces and fast computation of average visibility information through a cluster. We show that the accurate distribution of the energy emitted or received at the cluster level can produce even better results than isotropic clustering at a marginal cost. The resulting algorithm is fast and, more importantly, truly progressive as it allows the quick calculation of approximate solutions with a smooth convergence towards very accurate simulations.
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https://hal.inria.fr/inria-00509994
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François X. Sillion. A Unified Hierarchical Algorithm for Global Illumination with Scattering Volumes and Object Clusters. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 1995, 1 (3). ⟨inria-00509994⟩

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