Realistic, Real-Time Shading
The creation of images that are indistinguishable from photographs is a long-standing problem in computer graphics. Current methods can take minutes or even hours to produce a single realistic image. Yet, there are many applications, such as architectural visualizations and flight-simulators, for which real-time image synthesis is necessary. Existing solutions sacrifice image quality in order to meet time constraints; for instance, by using only point lights that cast hard and unrealistic shadows or by completely ignoring indirect illumination. I will present techniques that address these problems. First, I will introduce Convolution Shadow Maps, which enable the use of natural lighting to cast realistic, soft shadows. Second, I will present Imperfect Shadow Maps, a novel rendering technique that adds realistic indirect illumination, including color bleeding and indirect shadows. Both techniques are very efficient and support fully dynamic scenes as no precomputation is required.