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Approximate Bias Compensation for Rendering Scenes
with Heterogeneous Participating Media

Thomas Engelhardt, Jan Novák, Thorsten-W. Schmidt, and Carsten Dachsbacher

Computer Graphics Forum (Proceedings of Pacific Graphics), 2012.

In this paper we present a novel method for high-quality rendering of scenes with participating media. Our technique is based on instant radiosity, which is used to approximate indirect illumination between surfaces by gathering light from a set of virtual point lights (VPLs). It has been shown that this principle can be applied to participating media as well, so that the combined single scattering contribution of VPLs within the medium yields full multiple scattering. As in the surface case, VPL methods for participating media are prone to singularities, which appear as bright “splotches” in the image. These artifacts are usually countered by clamping the VPLs’ contribution, but this leads to energy loss within the short-distance light transport. Bias compensation recovers the missing energy, but previous approaches are prohibitively costly. We investigate VPL-based methods for rendering scenes with participating media, and propose a novel and efficient approximate bias compensation technique. We evaluate our technique using various test scenes, showing it to be visually indistinguishable from ground truth.



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2013-02-11: Fixed a typo in the definition of the path throughput.

  author    = {Thomas Engelhardt and Jan Nov{\'a}k and Thorsten-W. Schmidt and Carsten Dachsbacher}, 
  title     = {Approximate Bias Compensation for Rendering Scenes with Heterogeneous Participating Media}, 
  journal   = {Computer Graphics Forum (Proceedings of Pacific Graphics 2012)}, 
  volume    = {31}, 
  number    = {7}, 
  year      = {2012}, 
  pages     = {2145-2154},