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Keywords:

  • Monte Carlo techniques;
  • spherical integration;
  • global illumination;
  • rendering;
  • ray tracing;
  • I.3.7 [Computer Graphics]: Three-Dimensional Graphics and Realism-Raytracing

Abstract

Quasi-Monte Carlo (QMC) methods exhibit a faster convergence rate than that of classic Monte Carlo methods. This feature has made QMC prevalent in image synthesis, where it is frequently used for approximating the value of spherical integrals (e.g. illumination integral). The common approach for generating QMC sampling patterns for spherical integration is to resort to unit square low-discrepancy sequences and map them to the hemisphere. However such an approach is suboptimal as these sequences do not account for the spherical topology and their discrepancy properties on the unit square are impaired by the spherical projection. In this paper we present a strategy for producing high-quality QMC sampling patterns for spherical integration by resorting to spherical Fibonacci point sets. We show that these patterns, when applied to illumination integrals, are very simple to generate and consistently outperform existing approaches, both in terms of root mean square error (RMSE) and image quality. Furthermore, only a single pattern is required to produce an image, thanks to a scrambling scheme performed directly in the spherical domain.