Infoscience

Journal article

Rendering Glints on High-resolution Normal-mapped Specular Surfaces

Complex specular surfaces under sharp point lighting show a fascinating glinty appearance, but rendering it is an unsolved problem. Using Monte Carlo pixel sampling for this purpose is impractical: the energy is concentrated in tiny highlights that take up a minuscule fraction of the pixel. We instead compute an accurate solution using a completely different deterministic approach. Our method considers the true distribution of normals on a surface patch seen through a single pixel, which can be highly complex. We show how to evaluate this distribution efficiently, assuming a Gaussian pixel footprint and Gaussian intrinsic roughness. We also take advantage of hierarchical pruning of position-normal space to rapidly find tex-els that might contribute to a given normal distribution evaluation. Our results show complex, temporally varying glints from materials such as bumpy plastics, brushed and scratched metals, metallic paint and ocean waves. Copyright © ACM.

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