Illuminating micro geometry based on precomputed visibility

W. Heidrich*, K. Daubert, J. Kautz, H. P. Seidel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Many researchers have been arguing that geometry, bump maps, and BRDFs present a hierarchy of detail that should be exploited for efficient rendering purposes. In practice however, this is often not possible due to inconsistencies in the illumination for these different levels of detail. For example, while bump map rendering often only considers direct illumination and no shadows, geometry-based rendering and BRDFs will mostly also respect shadowing effects, and in many cases even indirect illumination caused by scattered light. In this paper, we present an approach for overcoming these inconsistencies. We introduce an inexpensive method for consistently illuminating height fields and bump maps, as well as simulating BRDFs based on precomputed visibility information. With this information we can achieve a consistent illumination across the levels of detail. The method we propose offers significant performance benefits over existing algorithms for computing the light scattering in height fields and for computing a sampled BRDF representation using a virtual gonioreflectometer. The performance can be further improved by utilizing graphics hardware, which then also allows for interactive display. Finally, our method also approximates the changes in illumination when the height field, bump map, or BRDF is applied to a surface with a different curvature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes
EventSIGGRAPH 2000 - New Orleans, LA, United States
Duration: Jul 23 2000Jul 28 2000


OtherSIGGRAPH 2000
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans, LA


  • Frame buffer tricks
  • Graphics hardware
  • Illumination effects
  • Monte carlo techniques
  • Reflectance & shading models
  • Texture mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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