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Conference Paper

Balancing Considered Harmful - Faster Photon Mapping using the Voxel Volume Heuristic

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons45688

Wald,  Ingo
Computer Graphics, MPI for Informatics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons44542

Günther,  Johannes
Computer Graphics, MPI for Informatics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Wald, I., Günther, J., & Slusallek, P. (2004). Balancing Considered Harmful - Faster Photon Mapping using the Voxel Volume Heuristic. In The European Association for Computer Graphics 25th Annual Conference EUROGRAPHICS 2004 (pp. 595-603). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-2A35-8
Abstract
Photon mapping is one of the most important algorithms for computing global illumination. Especially for effi- ciently producing convincing caustics, there are no real alternatives to photon mapping. On the other hand, photon mapping is also quite costly: Each radiance lookup requires to find the k nearest neighbors in a kd-tree, which can be more costly than shooting several rays. Therefore, the nearest-neighbor queries often dominate the rendering time of a photon map based renderer. In this paper, we present a method that reorganizes i.e. unbalances the kd-tree for storing the photons in a way that allows for finding the k-nearest neighbors much more efficiently, thereby accelerating the radiance estimates by a factor of 1.2 3.4. Most importantly, our method still finds exactly the same k-nearest-neighbors as the original method, without introducing any approximations or loss of accuracy. The impact of our method is demonstrated with several practical examples.