Though sophisticated three-dimensional imagery is abundant in computer-generated games and movies, a group of researchers from Disney Research, Zürich, University of California, San Diego, Limbic Software, and RWTH Aachen University say they have gained insights to improve the rendering of those images by envisioning a flat, two-dimensional world.
The fundamental physics of light is easier to understand in that 2D world than in a 3D environment, they said, and enabled them to develop simplified equations for governing the behavior of light. This in turn allowed the team of researchers to find practical improvements to 3D photorealistic rendering techniques which improved their speed and quality.
"Rendering techniques have become so incredibly sophisticated and complex that skilled artists can now easily create photorealistic depictions of synthetic worlds and are limited only by their imaginations," said Dr. Wojciech Jarosz, research scientist at Disney Research, Zürich and coauthor of the work. Ultimately, all of these rendering techniques simulate how light would bounce around in a virtual environment. This physical lighting simulation is what allows these computer-generated images to look so convincingly photorealistic. "Unfortunately, these methods can often be incredibly slow, taking hours to simulate a single frame of a movie, and the physical processes they try to mimic are incredibly complex," he added.
This increased complexity not only limits artists, but hampers researchers such as Jarosz who pursue improved approaches and can make it more difficult to discuss and teach the underlying concepts. To address this ever increasing complexity, the team of researchers decided to go back to basics. They imagined how light would behave in a fictional two-dimensional world to avoid dealing with the harsh complexities of how light behaves in our physical 3D world.
"It turns out that we can define a 2D world where light behaves much the same way as it does in our 3D reality — however, all the fundamental equations governing the physics of light become significantly simpler," Jarosz explained. This seemingly frivolous exercise actually provides tangible benefits for developing better 3D rendering techniques. All the common rendering techniques can be analyzed in this simplified 2D setting and their weaknesses and strengths can be more easily discovered.
In addition to improving 3D rendering techniques, Jarosz, who is also an adjunct lecturer at ETH, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, speculates that the simplified view of the physics of light could also serve as a good teaching tool within computer graphics curricula at universities.
Jennifer Liu | EurekAlert!
Computer model predicts how fracturing metallic glass releases energy at the atomic level
20.07.2018 | American Institute of Physics
What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
18.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences