Path-Space Manipulation of Physically-Based Light Transport

Thorsten-Walther Schmidt, Jan Novak, Johannes Meng, Anton S. Kaplanyan, Tim Reiner, Derek Nowrouzezahrai, and Carsten Dachsbacher

ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 2013)

Industry-quality content creation relies on tools for lighting artists to quickly prototype, iterate, and refine final renders. As industry-leading studios quickly adopt physically-based rendering (PBR) across their art generation pipelines, many existing tools have become unsuitable as they address only simple effects without considering underlying PBR concepts and constraints. We present a novel light transport manipulation technique that operates directly on path-space solutions of the rendering equation. We expose intuitive direct and indirect manipulation approaches to edit complex effects such as (multi-refracted) caustics, diffuse and glossy indirect bounces, and direct/indirect shadows. With our sketch- and object-space selection, all built atop a parameterized regular expression engine, artists can search and isolate shading effects to inspect and edit. We classify and filter paths on the fly and visualize the selected transport phenomena. We survey artists who used our tool to manipulate complex phenomena on both static and animated scenes.
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© 2013 ACM. This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version will be published in ACM Transactions on Graphics 32(4), August 2013. <>.

 author = {Thorsten-Walther Schmidt and Jan Novak and Johannes Meng and Anton S. Kaplanyan and Tim Reiner and Derek Nowrouzezahrai and Carsten Dachsbacher},
 title = {Path-Space Manipulation of Physically-Based Light Transport},
 journal = {ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH 2013)},
 volume = {32},
 number = {4},
 year = {2013},
 month = aug,,
 numpages = {8},