Disney Research


Modular Radiance Transfer-Image

Many rendering algorithms willingly sacrifice accuracy, favoring plausible shading with high-performance. Modular Radiance Transfer (MRT) models coarse-scale, distant indirect lighting effects in scene geometry that scales from high-end GPUs to low-end mobile platforms. MRT eliminates scene dependent precomputation by storing compact transport on simple shapes, akin to bounce cards used in film production. These shapes’ modular transport can be instanced, warped and connected on-the-fly to yield approximate light transport in large scenes. We introduce a prior on incident lighting distributions and perform all computations in low-dimensional subspaces. An implicit lighting environment induced from the low-rank approximations is in turn used to model secondary effects, such as volumetric transport variation, higher-order irradiance, and transport through lightfields. MRT is a new approach to precomputed lighting that uses a novel low-dimensional subspace simulation of light transport to uniquely balance the need for high-performance and portable solutions, low memory usage, and fast authoring iteration.

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