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Various techniques have been developed that employ projections of the world as seen from a particular viewpoint. Blinn and Newell introduced reflection mapping for simulating mirror reflections on curved surfaces. Miller and Hoffman have presented a general illumination model based on environment mapping. World projections have also been used to model distant objects and to produce pictures with the fish-eye distortion required for Omnimax frames. This article proposes a uniform framework for representing and using world projections and argues that the best general-purpose representation is the is projection onto a cube. Surface shading and texture filtering are discussed in the context of environment mapping, and methods are presented for obtaining diffuse and specular surface illumination from prefiltered environment maps. Comparisons are made with ray tracing, noting that two problems with ray tracingÂ¿obtaining diffuse reflection and antialiasing specular reflectionÂ¿can be handled effectively by environment mapping.
Date of Publication: Nov. 1986