Left: BRDF acquisition setup.
Center: David in the Grace Cathedral environment. Right: Active room illumination set to the
Grace Cathedral environment.
history, the field of computer graphics has been striving towards
increased realism. This goal has traditionally been described by the
notion of photorealism, and more recently and in many cases the more
ambitious goal of perceptual realism. Photo-realistic image synthesis
involves many algorithms describing the phenomena of light transport in
a scene as well as its interaction with various materials. On the other
hand, research in perceptual realism typically involves various tone
mapping algorithms for display devices as well as algorithms that mimic
the natural response of the human visual system in order to recreate
the visual experience of a real scene.
An important aspect of realistic rendering is the accurate modeling of
the scene elements such as light sources and material reflectance
properties. This dissertation proposes a set of new techniques for
efficient acquisition of material properties as well as new algorithms
for high quality rendering with acquired data. Here, we are mostly
concerned with the acquisition and rendering of local illumination
effects. In particular, we propose a new optical setup for efficient
acquisition of the bidirectional reflectance distribution function
(BRDF) with basis illumination and various Monte Carlo strategies for
efficient sampling of direct illumination.
The dissertation also looks into the display end of the image synthesis
pipeline and proposes algorithms for displaying scenes on high dynamic
range (HDR) displays for visual realism, and for tying the room
illumination with the viewing environment for a sense of presence and
immersion in a virtual environment. Here, we develop real-time
rendering algorithms for driving the HDR displays as well as for active
control of room
illumination based on dynamic scene content. Thus, we propose
contributions to the acquisition, rendering, and display end of the
image synthesis pipeline while targeting real-time rendering
applications, as well as high quality off-line rendering with realistic
materials and illumination environments.