Submitted by , posted on 06 June 2002

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This screen shot is a result of a couple years' fiddling around with basic Radiosity rendering algorithms. What's different about this algorithm is the use of procedural, angle-of-incidence dependent textures to model light reflection. The program takes as input a scene of polygonal mesh objects and texture definitions, and outputs "baked" textures which contain color and diffuse lighting information. A very simple OpenGL rendering engine can then display these textures on the geometry without any additional lighting calculations at run-time. The drawback: 25 megabytes of output textures in a (relatively simple) scene. This problem will probably be circumvented using multitexturing and compression.

By using radiosity lighting methods, many sophisticated effects are achieved automatically: light attenuation, soft shadows, color bleeding. Instead of using point light sources, lights are represented by emissive geometry, allowing for more realistic light casting effects.

The scene itself was modelled by hand in Milkshape in an afternoon, contains 8133 vertices and 13934 triangles in 126 objects, and uses 8 distinct textures. Lighting for this scene (first iteration only -- subsequent iterations are painfully slow) takes about 40 minutes to calculate on a 1 Ghz / 256Meg machine with decent graphics card.

Comments welcome at Go Bears!

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