Physically based rendering of synthetic objects in real environments
This thesis presents methods for photorealistic rendering of virtual objects so that they can be seamlessly composited into images of the real world. To generate predictable and consistent results, we study physically based methods, which simulate how light propagates in a mathematical model of the augmented scene. This computationally challenging problem demands both efficient and accurate simulation of the light transport in the scene, as well as detailed modeling of the geometries, illumination conditions, and material properties. In this thesis, we discuss and formulate the challenges inherent in these steps and present several methods to make the process more efficient. In particular, the material contained in this thesis addresses four closely related areas: HDR imaging, IBL, reflectance modeling, and efficient rendering. The thesis presents a new, statistically motivated algorithm for HDR reconstruction from raw camera data combining demosaicing, denoising, and HDR fusion in a single processing operation. The thesis also presents practical and robust methods for rendering with spatially and temporally varying illumination conditions captured using omnidirectional HDR video. Furthermore, two new parametric BRDF models are proposed for surfaces exhibiting wide angle gloss. Finally, the thesis also presents a physically based light transport algorithm based on Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods that allows approximations to be used in place of exact quantities, while still converging to the exact result. As illustrated in the thesis, the proposed algorithm enables efficient rendering of scenes with glossy transfer and heterogenous participating media.