DIRT: Deferred Image-based Ray Tracing

in Eurographics/ ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on High Performance Graphics; 63-73
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We introduce a novel approach to image-space ray tracing ideally suited for the photorealistic synthesis of fully dynamic environments at interactive frame rates. Our method, designed entirely on the rasterization pipeline, alters the acceleration data structure construction from a per-fragment to a per-primitive basis in order to simultaneously support three important, generally conflicting in prior art, objectives: fast construction times, analytic intersection tests and reduced memory requirements. In every frame, our algorithm operates in two stages: A compact representation of the scene geometry is built based on primitive linked-lists, followed by a traversal step that decouples the ray-primitive intersection tests from the illumination calculations; a process inspired by deferred rendering and the path integral formulation of light transport. Efficient empty space skipping is achieved by exploiting several culling optimizations both in xy- and z-space, such as pixel frustum clipping, depth subdivision and lossless buffer down-scaling. An extensive experimental study is finally offered showing that our method advances the area of image-based ray tracing under the constraints posed by arbitrarily complex and animated scenarios.

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