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A unified hierarchical algorithm for global illumination with scattering volumes and object clusters

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1 Author(s)
F. X. Sillion ; iMAGIS Lab., CNRS, Grenoble, France

The paper presents a new radiosity algorithm that allows the simultaneous computation of energy exchanges between surface elements, scattering volume distributions, and groups of surfaces, or object clusters. The new technique is based on a hierarchical formulation of the zonal method, and efficiently integrates volumes and surfaces. In particular no initial linking stage is needed, even for inhomogeneous volumes, thanks to the construction of a global spatial hierarchy. An analogy between object clusters and scattering volumes results in a powerful clustering radiosity algorithm, with no initial linking between surfaces and fast computation of average visibility information through a cluster. We show that the accurate distribution of the energy emitted or received at the cluster level can produce even better results than isotropic clustering at a marginal cost. The resulting algorithm is fast and, more importantly, truly progressive as it allows the quick calculation of approximate solutions with a smooth convergence towards very accurate simulations

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 3 )