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Overview of Parallel Photo-realistic Graphics

Erik Reinhard, Alan Chalmers, Frederik W. Jansen, Overview of Parallel Photo-realistic Graphics. Eurographics '98 State of the Art Reports. ISSN 1017-4656, pp. 1–25. August 1998. PDF, 405 Kbytes.


Global illumination is an area of research which tries to develop algorithms and methods to render images of artificial models or worlds as realistically as possible. Such algorithms are known for their unpredictable data accesses and their high computational complexity. Rendering a single high quality image may take several hours, or even days. For this reason parallel processing must be considered as a viable option to compute images in a reasonable time. The nature of data access patterns and often the sheer size of the scene to be rendered, means that a straightforward parallelisation, if one exists, may not always lead to good performance. This holds for all three rendering techniques considered in this report: ray tracing, radiosity and particle tracing.

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