Rendering Discrete Random Media Using Precomputed Scattering Solutions

Jonathan T. Moon, Bruce Walter, and Stephen R. Marschner.

In Proceedings of EGSR 2007. Held in Grenoble, France, July 2007.


This paper addresses light transport through a discrete random medium, which we define as a volume filled with macroscopic scattering geometry generated by a random process. This formulation is more general than standard radiative transport, because it can be applied to media that are made up of closely packed scatterers. A new approach to rendering these media is introduced, based on precomputed solutions to a local multiple scattering problem, including a new algorithm for generating paths through random media that moves through the interior of the medium in large strides without considering individual scattering events. A method for rendering homogeneous isotropic random media is described that generates paths using precomputed scattering solutions compressed and randomly sampled using Nonnegative Matrix Factorization. It can efficiently render discrete media, such as a large pile of glass objects, in which the individual scatterers are visible. The method is demonstrated on scenes containing tens of thousands of transparent, specular objects that are nearly impossible to render with standard global illumination techniques.


This paper is available as a 4.3M PDF file.

Steve Marschner