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Computer Graphics

Powerful and Beautiful ...


Looking forward compute graphics will continue to evolve - in particular new lighting and rendering techniques (increased realism and more flexible hardware implementations).

Computer generated scenes will have no limits - style, complexity, effect, ... eventually in real-time and interactive.
Computer generated scenes will have no limits - style, complexity, effect, ... eventually in real-time and interactive.


Graphics software is changing as fast as the hardware! The aim to accelerate graphics while pushing the quality and realism (real-time).

Lot of hype and unrealistic predictions at the moment.

Some companies are predicting feature-filem quality graphics in video games and XR within the next few years.

Saying that real-time graphics can catch-up and match state-of-the-art heigh-end 3D graphics is a big leap!

Of course, the wording feature-film quality isn't an exact quality - vague at best - but stage-of-the-art feature films often take weeks or months to render impressive shots. These shots are carefully crafted with many layers of graphical rendering, manipulation and composited together to create that amazing final result.

Hype aside, while not ever new technique developed in high-end software will be rapidly emulated in hardware - the additional of key technologies such as raytracing and programmable shaders (compute and graphics) promises a future that will be worth seeing.

Lighting concepts that have "come to light" recently

Metropolis Light Transport (MLT)

MLT is a global illumination algorithm that uses a Markov chain Monte Carlo method to simulate the paths of light rays in a scene. It's known for its ability to efficiently handle difficult lighting scenarios, but it's computationally expensive and not widely used in real-time applications (yet).

Bidirectional Path Tracing (BDPT)

BDPT is an advanced rendering algorithm that combines backward and forward path tracing to simulate the paths of light rays in both directions (from the camera and from light sources). It can produce highly accurate renderings with complex lighting effects but requires significant computational resources.

Photon Mapping with Machine Learning

Recent research has explored the integration of machine learning techniques, such as neural networks, into photon mapping algorithms to improve their efficiency and accuracy. This approach aims to accelerate the photon mapping process and achieve better results in complex scenes.

Virtual Ray Lights

Virtual ray lights are a theoretical concept that involves simulating the emission of light rays from virtual light sources placed in a scene. These virtual light sources can interact with surfaces and other objects, contributing to the overall lighting simulation. Research in this area focuses on developing efficient algorithms for generating and integrating virtual ray lights into rendering pipelines.

Non-Local Light Transport

Non-local light transport algorithms aim to capture the effects of indirect lighting from distant or occluded light sources in a scene. This concept extends traditional global illumination techniques by considering light transport paths that involve interactions with distant or unrelated surfaces.

Spectral Rendering

Spectral rendering involves simulating the entire visible spectrum of light instead of using simplified color representations (e.g., RGB). Accounting for the full spectral distribution of light, spectral rendering algorithms can produce more accurate and realistic color reproduction in rendered images.

Quantum Rendering

Quantum rendering is a speculative concept that explores the potential application of quantum computing principles to accelerate rendering algorithms. While still in the experimental stage, quantum rendering aims to leverage quantum phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform complex computations required for rendering more efficiently.

As computationally boundaries are removed - computer generated scenes will transition towards dynamically generated interactive ones - which can be updated and created on-the-fly as the user explores and moves around (combined with physics, simluations and AI) - going to be scary but also mindblowing.

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