A Programmable System for Artistic Volumetric Lighting

Nowrouzezahrai, D., Johnson, J., Selle, A., Lacewell, D., Kaschalk, K., Jarosz, W. ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH Proceedings), 2011.


Abstract: We present a method for generating art-directable volumetric effects, ranging from physically-accurate to non-physical results. Our system mimics the way experienced artists think about volumetric effects by using an intuitive lighting primitive, and decoupling the modeling and shading of this primitive. To accomplish this, we generalize the physically-based photon beams method to allow arbitrarily programmable simulation and shading phases. This provides an intuitive design space for artists to rapidly explore a wide range of physically-based as well as plausible, but exaggerated, volumetric effects. We integrate our approach into a real-world production pipeline and couple our volumetric effects to surface shading.

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