Perspective-Driven Radiosity on Graphics Hardware



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Radiosity is a global illumination algorithm used by artists, architects, and engineers for its realistic simulation of lighting. Since the illumination model is global, complexity and run time grow as larger environments are provided. Algorithms exist which generate an incremental result and provide weighting based on the user's view of the environment. This thesis introduces an algorithm for directing and focusing radiosity calculations relative to the user's point-of-view and within the user's field-of-view, generating visually interesting results for a localized area more quickly than a traditional global approach.

The algorithm, referred to as perspective-driven radiosity, is an extension of the importance-driven radiosity algorithm, which itself is an extension of the progressive refinement radiosity algorithm. The software implemented during research into the point-of-view/field-of-view-driven algorithm can demonstrate both of these algorithms, and can generate results for arbitrary geometry. Parameters can be adjusted by the user to provide results that favor speed or quality.

To take advantage of the scalability of programmable graphics hardware, the algorithm is implemented as an extension of progressive refinement radiosity on the GPU, using OpenGL and GLSL. Results from each of the three implemented radiosity algorithms are compared using a variety of geometry.