Single-Pass Scalable Subsurface Rendering with Lightcuts

Adam Arbree, Bruce Walter, Kavita Bala

Proceedings of Eurographics 2008 (Eurographics 2008)

Abstract: This paper presents a new, scalable, single pass algorithm for computing subsurface scattering using the diffusion approximation. Instead of pre-computing a globally conservative estimate of the surface irradiance like previous two pass methods, the algorithm simultaneously refines hierarchical and adaptive estimates of both the surface irradiance and the subsurface transport. By using an adaptive, top-down refinement method, the algorithm directs computational effort only to simulating those eye-surface-light paths that make significant contributions to the final image. Because the algorithm is driven by image importance, it scales more efficiently than previous methods that have a linear dependence on translucent surface area. We demonstrate that in scenes with many translucent objects and in complex lighting environments, our new algorithm has a significant performance advantage.

Adam Arbree won 2nd place in the Guenther Enderle Award for Best Student Paper.

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