## Fachbereich Informatik

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Virtual Reality (VR) is to be seen as the superset of simulation and animation. Visualization is done by rendering. The fundamental model of VR accounts for all phenomenons to be modelled with help of a computer. Examples range from simple dragging actions with a mouse device to the complex simulation of physically based animation.

The main problem in computer graphics is to solve the global illumination problem,
which is given by a Fredholm integral equation of the second kind, called the radiance equation (REQ). In order to achieve realistic images, a very complex kernel
of the integral equation, modelling all physical effects of light, must be considered. Due to this complexity Monte Carlo methods seem to be an appropriate approach to solve the REQ approximately. We show that replacing Monte Carlo by quasi-Monte Carlo in some steps of the algorithm results in a faster convergence.

Monte Carlo integration is often used for antialiasing in rendering processes.
Due to low sampling rates only expected error estimates can be stated, and the variance can be high. In this article quasi-Monte Carlo methods are presented, achieving a guaranteed upper error bound and a convergence rate essentially as fast as usual Monte Carlo.

The radiance equation, which describes the global illumination problem in computer graphics, is a high dimensional integral equation. Estimates of the solution are usually computed on the basis of Monte Carlo methods. In this paper we propose and investigate quasi-Monte Carlo methods, which means that we replace (pseudo-) random samples by low discrepancy sequences, yielding deterministic algorithms. We carry out a comparative numerical study between Monte Carlo and quasi-Monte Carlo methods. Our results show that quasi-Monte Carlo converges considerably faster.

Quasi-Monte Carlo Radiosity
(1996)

The problem of global illumination in computer graphics is described by a second kind Fredholm integral equation. Due to the complexity of this equation, Monte Carlo methods provide an interesting tool for approximating
solutions to this transport equation. For the case of the radiosity equation, we present the deterministic method of quasi-rondom walks. This method very efficiently uses low discrepancy sequences for integrating the Neumann series and consistently outperforms stochastic techniques. The method of quasi-random walks also is applicable to transport problems in settings other
than computer graphics.

The calculation of form factors is an important problem in computing the global illumination in the radiosity setting. Closed form solutions often are only available for objects without obstruction and are very hard to calculate. Using Monte Carlo integration and ray tracing provides a fast and elegant tool for the estimation of the form factors. In this paper we show, that using deterministic low discrepancy sample points is superior to random sampling, resulting in an acceleration of more than half an order of magnitude.

Instant Radiosity
(1997)

We present a fundamental procedure for instant rendering from the radiance equation. Operating directly on the textured scene description, the very efficient and simple algorithm produces photorealistic images without any kernel or solution discretization of the underlying integral equation. Rendering rates of a few seconds are obtained by exploiting graphics hardware, the deterministic
technique of the quasi-random walk for the solution of the global illumination problem, and the new method of jittered low discrepancy sampling.

A fundamental variance reduction technique for Monte Carlo integration in the framework of integro-approximation problems is
presented. Using the method of dependent tests a successive hierarchical function approximation algorithm is developed, which
captures discontinuities and exploits smoothness in the target function. The general mathematical scheme and its highly efficient
implementation are illustrated for image generation by ray tracing,
yielding new and much faster image synthesis algorithms.

The photon map provides a powerful tool for approximating the irradiance in global illumination computations independent from geometry. By presenting new importance sampling techniques, we dramatically improve the memory footprint of the photon map, simplify the caustic generation, and allow for a much faster sampling of direct illumination in complicated models as they arise in a production environment.

In this paper we show how Metropolis Light Transport can be extended both in the underlying theoretical framework and the algorithmic implementation to incorporate volumetric scattering.
We present a generalization of the path integral formulation thathandles anisotropic scattering in non-homogeneous media. Based on this framework we introduce a new mutation strategy that is
specifically designed for participating media. It exploits the locality of light propagation by perturbing certain interaction points within the medium. To efficiently sample inhomogeneous media a new ray marching method has been developed that avoids aliasing artefacts and is significantly faster than stratified sampling. The resulting global illumination algorithm provides a physically correct simulation of light transport in the presence of participating media that includes effects such as volume caustics and multiple volume scattering. It is not restricted to certain classes of geometry and scattering models and has minimal memory requirements. Furthermore, it is unbiased and robust, in the sense that it produces satisfactory results for a wide range of input scenes and lighting situations within acceptable time bounds. In particular, we found that it is weil suited for complex scenes with many light sources.