Interactive rendering of virtual environments for games and simulations is typically done using rasterization. An alternative approach is ray tracing, which accurately simulates the interaction of light and scene surfaces, yielding photo-realistic images. Although widely used in the movie industry, ray tracing generally is an off-line process, and may take minutes or even hours per image or frame of an animation.

The Academy of Digital Entertainment has developed technology for interactive ray tracing, which allows for real-time previews and walkthroughs using physically-based global illumination, and production-quality renders in seconds, rather than minutes or hours. Our research is considered state-of-the-art in the field.

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Interactive physically-based rendering benefits a broad range of applications:

  • In virtual cities, accurate illumination provides insight in actual light conditions for buildings and streets, which allows accurate assessment of safety and ambiance during the day and night.
  • For product presentations, physically-based rendering provides photo-realistic images of real or imaginary objects and scenes. These images can be produced from any camera angle, within seconds.
  • In games, ray tracing promises a simplified art pipeline, intuitive material and light control, and a greatly reduced code base. Using cloud rendering, sufficient compute power is available today.

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We offer consultancy, as well as ready-made and custom rendering software that runs on consumer-level PCs with NVidia graphics processors.

Researchers:

Dr. J. Bikker (bikker.j@nhtv.nl)
R. Grigg (grigg.r@nhtv.nl)