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Environment Mapping for Efficient Sampling of the Diffuse Interreflection

Erik Reinhard, Lucas U. Tijssen, Frederik W. Jansen, Environment Mapping for Efficient Sampling of the Diffuse Interreflection. Photorealistic Rendering Techniques. ISBN 3-540-58475-7, pp. 410–422. June 1994. PDF, 125 Kbytes.

Abstract

Environment mapping is a technique to compute specular reflections for a glossy object. Originally proposed as a cheap alternative for ray tracing, the method is well suited to be incorporated in a hybrid rendering algorithm. In this paper environment mapping is introduced to reduce the amount of computations involved in tracing sec-ondary rays. During rendering, instead of tracing the secondary rays all through the scene, values are taken from the maps for the rays that would otherwise hit distant ob-jects. This way the quality of the image is retained while providing a cheap alternative to stochastic brute force sampling methods. An additional advantage is that due to the local representation of the entire 3D scene in a map, parallelising this algorithm should result in a good speed-up and high efficiency.

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