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Articles Tagged: Epipolar geometry

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Geometric and path tracing methods for simulating light transport through volumes of water particles

The visual appearance of volumes of water particles, such as clouds, waterfalls, and fog, depends both on microscopic interactions between light rays and individual droplets of water, and also on macroscopic interactions between multiple droplets and paths of light rays. This paper presents a model that builds upon a typical single-scattering volume renderer to correctly account for these effects. To accurately simulate the visual appearance of a surface or a volume of particles in a computer-generated image, the properties of the material or particle must be specified using a Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF), which describes how light reflects off of a material, and the Bidirectional Transmittance Distribution Function (BTDF), which describes how light refracts into a material. This paper describes an optimized BRDF and BTDF for volumes of water droplets, which takes their geometry into account in order to produce well-known effects, such as rainbows and halos. It also describes how a multiple-scattering path tracing volume integrator can be used to more accurately simulate macroscopic light transport through a volume of water, creating a more "cloudlike" appearance than a single-scattered volume integrator. This paper focuses on replicating the visual appearance of volumes of water particles, and although it makes use of physical models, the techniques presented are not intended to be physically accurate.

By James Hegarty, September 2008

PDF | HTML | In the Digital Library