Interactive high fidelity visualization of complex materials on the GPU

By Silva, N.; Paulo Santos, L.

Computers and Graphics (Pergamon)

2013

Abstract

High fidelity interactive rendering is of major importance for footwear designers, since it allows experimenting with virtual prototypes of new products, rather than producing expensive physical mock-ups. This requires capturing the appearance of complex materials by resorting to image based approaches, such as the Bidirectional Texture Function (BTF), to allow subsequent interactive visualization, while still maintaining the capability to edit the materials' appearance. However, interactive global illumination rendering of compressed editable BTFs with ordinary computing resources remains to be demonstrated. In this paper we demonstrate interactive global illumination by using a GPU ray tracing engine and the Sparse Parametric Mixture Model representation of BTFs, which is particularly well suited for BTF editing. We propose a rendering pipeline and data layout which allow for interactive frame rates and provide a scalability analysis with respect to the scene's complexity. We also include soft shadows from area light sources and approximate global illumination with ambient occlusion by resorting to progressive refinement, which quickly converges to an high quality image while maintaining interactive frame rates by limiting the number of rays shot per frame. Acceptable performance is also demonstrated under dynamic settings, including camera movements, changing lighting conditions and dynamic geometry.

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