A Ray Tracing based Virtual Reality Framework for Industrial Design

Ingo WaldCarsten BenthinAlexander EfremovTim DahmenJohannes G√ľntherAndreas DietrichVlastimil HavranHans-Peter Seidel and Philipp Slusallek 
Technical Report 2005-02, December, submitted for publication

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Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Virtual Reality (VR) are becoming increasingly important tools for industrial design applications. Unfortunately, there is a huge and growing gap between what data CAD engineers are working on, what rendering quality is needed by designers and executives to faithfully judge a design variant, and what rendering capabilities are offered by commonly available VR frameworks. In particular, existing VR systems cannot currently cope with the accuracy demanded by CAD engineers, nor can they deliver the photorealistic rendering quality and reliability required by designers and decision makers.

In this paper, we describe a ray tracing based virtual reality framework that closes these gaps. In particular, the proposed system supports direct ray tracing of trimmed freeform surfaces even for complex models of thousands of patches, allows for accurately simulating reflections and refraction for glass and car paint effects, offers support for direct integration of measured materials via Bidirectional Texture Functions (BTFs), and even allows for soft environmental lighting from high dynamic range environment maps. All of these effects can be delivered interactively, and are demonstrated on a real-world industrial model, a complete Mercedes C-class car.