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We present a new, general, and real-time technique for soft global illumination in low-frequency environmental lighting. It accumulates over relatively few spherical proxies which approximate the light blocking and re-radiating effect of dynamic geometry. Soft shadows are computed by accumulating log visibility vectors for each sphere proxy as seen by each receiver point. Inter-reflections are computed by accumulating vectors representing the proxy's unshadowed radiance when illuminated by the environment. Both vectors capture low-frequency directional dependence using the spherical harmonic basis. We also present a new proxy accumulation strategy that splats each proxy to receiver pixels in image space to collect its shadowing and indirect lighting contribution. Our soft GI rendering pipeline unifies direct and indirect soft effects with a simple accumulation strategy that maps entirely to the GPU and outperforms previous vertex-based methods.
Date of Conference: Oct. 29 2007-Nov. 2 2007