Matrix Radiance Transfer

Precomputed Radiance Transfer allows interactive rendering of objects illuminated by low-frequency environment maps, including self-shadowing and interreflections. The expensive integration of incident lighting is partially precomputed and stored as matrices.Incorporating anisotropic, glossy BRDFs into precomputed radiance transfer has been previously shown to be possible, but none of the previous methods offer real-time performance. We propose a new method, matrix radiance transfer, which significantly speeds up exit radiance computation and allows anisotropic BRDFs. We generalize the previous radiance transfer methods to work with a matrix representation of the BRDF and optimize exit radiance computation by expressing the exit radiance in a new, directionally locally supported basis set instead of the spherical harmonics. To determine exit radiance, our method performs four dot products per vertex in contrast to previous methods, where a full matrix-vector multiply is required. Image quality can be controlled by adapting the number of basis functions. We compress our radiance transfer matrices through principal component analysis (PCA). We show that it is possible to render directly from the PCA representation, which also enables the user to trade interactively between quality and speed.

Jaakko Lehtinen (Helsinki University of Technology)
Jan Kautz (MPI Informatik)
Publication Date: 
Thursday, April 1, 2004
Research Area: