Department of Computer Science Colloquium
Tuesday February 19th, 2002 4:15pm 
Upson Hall B17


Interactive High-Quality Rendering

Kavita Bala
Program of Computer Graphics
Cornell University


Interactive high-quality rendering is needed for applications such as architectural design, lighting design, simulations and games, and augmented and virtual reality. However, existing rendering techniques do not produce effects such as shadows, reflections, and global illumination at interactive frame rates. In this talk, I present two new techniques that accelerate rendering of complex, dynamically changing scenes. Efficiency is achieved by sparsely sampling and reconstructing radiance, exploiting spatial and temporal coherence in the radiance function.   The radiance interpolant system adaptively samples radiance and efficiently stores and accesses these samples on demand. Novel techniques for bounding radiometric error guide sampling, ensuring that the final image accurately captures radiance to within a user-specified error bound while obtaining order-of-magnitude speedup.   

The edge-and-point renderer analytically finds perceptually important discontinuities (edges) such as silhouettes and shadows, and uses these discontinuities to constrain radiance reconstruction from sparse samples (points).  The generation of high-quality antialiased images at interactive rates is made possible by new scalable algorithms that rapidly identify these edges and produce a compact intermediate representation called the edge-and-point image. This system renders complex scenes interactively on a desktop PC.