Exploiting Coherence in Lighting and Shading Computations

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Herzog, Robert
Computing global illumination (GI) in virtual scenes becomes increasingly attractive even for real-time applications nowadays. GI delivers important cues inthe perception of 3D virtual scenes, which is important for material and architectural design. Therefore, for photo-realistic rendering in the design and even thegame industry, GI has become indispensable. While the computer simulation ofrealistic global lighting is well-studied and often considered as solved, computingit efficiently is not. Saving computation costs is therefore the main motivationof current research in GI. Efficient algorithms have to take various aspects intoaccount, such as the algorithmic complexity and convergence, its mapping toparallel processing hardware, and the knowledge of certain lighting propertiesincluding the capabilities of the human visual system.In this dissertation we exploit both low-level and high-level coherence in thepractical design of GI algorithms for a variety of target applications rangingfrom high-quality production rendering to dynamic real-time rendering. We alsofocus on automatic rendering-accuracy control to approximate GI in such a waythat the error is perceptually unified in the result images, thereby taking notonly into account the limitations of the human visual system but also later videocompression with an MPEG encoder. In addition, this dissertation provides manyideas and supplementary material, which complements published work and couldbe of practical relevance.