A distributed, decoupled system for losslessly streaming dynamic light probes to thin clients

We present a networked, high-performance graphics system that combines dynamic, high-quality, ray traced global illumination computed on a server with direct illumination and primary visibility computed on a client. This approach provides many of the image quality benefits of real-time ray tracing on low-power and legacy hardware, while maintaining a low latency response and mobile form factor.

As opposed to streaming full frames from rendering servers to end clients, our system distributes the graphics pipeline over a network by computing diffuse global illumination on a remote machine. Diffuse global illumination is computed using a recent irradiance volume representation combined with a new lossless, HEVC-based, hardware-accelerated encoding, and a perceptually-motivated update scheme.

Our experimental implementation streams thousands of irradiance probes per second and requires less than 50 Mbps of throughput, reducing the consumed bandwidth by 99.4% when streaming at 60 Hz compared to traditional lossless texture compression.

The bandwidth reduction achieved with our approach allows higher quality and lower latency graphics than state-of-the-art remote rendering via video streaming. In addition, our split-rendering solution decouples remote computation from local rendering and so does not limit local display update rate or display resolution.


Zander Majercik (NVIDIA)
Morgan McGuire (NVIDIA)

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