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Vision: An Architecture for Global Illumination Calculations

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Abstract 

So far, the problem of global illumination cal-
culation has almost exclusively been approached from an
algorithmic point of view. In this paper we propose an ar-
chitectural approach to global illumination. The proposed
rendering architecture Vision is derived from a model of the
physical rendering process, which is subsequently mapped
onto an object-oriented hierarchy of classes. This design is
powerful and exible enough to support and exploit a large
body of existing illumination algorithms for the simulation
of various aspects of the underlying physical model. Addi-
tionally, the Vision architecture offers a platform for develop-
ing new algorithms and for combining them to create new
rendering solutions.
We discuss both abstract design as well as implementation
issues. In particular, we give a detailed description of the
global Lighting subsystem and show how algorithms for path
tracing, bidirectional estimators, irradiance caching, hierar-
chical radiosity, wavelet radiosity, and wavelet radiance have
been implemented within Vision.