State of the Art in Photon Density Estimation

SIGGRAPH 2012 Course

Thursday, 9 August | 2:00 PM - 5:15 PM | Room 408B

BibTeX entry

Toshiya Hachisuka
Aarhus University
Wojciech Jarosz
Disney Research Zurich

Guillaume Bouchard
Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, CNRS, France
Per H. Christensen
Jeppe Revall Frisvad
Technical University of Denmark
Wenzel Jakob
Cornell University
Henrik Wann Jensen
University of California, San Diego

Michael Kaschalk
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Matthias Zwicker
University of Bern
Andrew Selle
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Ben Spencer
Swansea University

(hover mouse over name for presenter info)


Photon density estimation techniques are a popular choice for simulating light transport in scenes with complicated geometry and materials. This class of algorithms can be used to accurately simulate inter-reflections, caustics, color bleeding, scattering in participating media and subsurface scattering. Since its introduction, photon density estimation has been significantly extended in computer graphics with the introduction of: specialized techniques that intelligently modify the positions or bandwidths to reduce visual error using a small number of photons, approaches which eliminate error completely in the limit, and methods that use higher-order samples and queries to reduce error in participating media. This course provides the necessary insight to implement all these latest advances in photon density estimation. The course starts out with a short introduction to photon density estimation using classical photon mapping, but the remainder of the two-part course provides new, hands-on explanations of the latest developments in this area by the experts behind each technique. The course will also cover recent applications of these techniques within industry. The course will give the audience concrete and practical understanding of the latest developments in photon density estimation techniques that have not been presented in prior SIGGRAPH courses.

Syllabus & Schedule

2:00pm Introduction (Jarosz)
pdf slides
Regular Photon Density Estimation:
2:05pm Photon Mapping Basics (Jensen)
pdf slides
2:20pm Photon Relaxation (Spencer)
pptx slides
2:35pm Photon Differentials (Frisvad)
pdf slides
Progressive Photon Density Estimation:
2:55pm Progressive Photon Mapping Basics (Hachisuka)
pdf slides
3:05pm Progressive Photon Mapping Extensions (Hachisuka)
pdf slides
3:20pm Probabilistic PPM (Zwicker)
pptx slides & notes
Photon Density Estimation in Participating Media:
3:40pm Participating Media Basics (Jarosz)
pdf slides & notes
3:50pm Progressive EM (Jakob)
pdf slides | pdf slides & notes
4:05pm From Photons to Beams (Jarosz)
pdf slides
Photon Density Estimation in Industry:
4:25pm Photon Beams in Tangled (Kaschalk & Selle)
N/A due to copyrights
4:40pm Photon Mapping in PRMan (Christensen)
pdf slides
4:55pm Progressive Photon Mapping in LuxRender (Bouchard)
pdf slides
5:10pm Conclusions (Hachisuka)
pdf slides