Image Synthesis

My main interest in graphics is image synthesis. This involves several different subjects.

Global illumination:
The propagation of light or energy throughout the environment.
Local illumination:
The way a material or BRDF reflects incident light back into the environment.
The projection of an environment into an image.
Visual Perception:
Understanding how the eye/brain percieves an image, what information is important, what can be safely discarded.
The goal of realistic image synthesis is to create an image that is indistinguishable from the real scene. This is not as well defined as it may sound. More can be found here.

Current Projects

Global illumination:
Neither finite element methods (radiosity) nor Monte Carlo methods work very well in practice. Can we come up with something better?
Outdoor rendering:
Rendering outdoor scenes is very different from indoor scenes. Usually only the sun and sky provide illumination, and the atmosphere can have a significant effect of the transport.
Real time raytracing:
Parallel machines are now fast enough that raytracing can be done in real time. This provides an entirely new framework for displaying images than the current hardware assistend z-buffer technology. There are many advantages to ray tracing, as well as several unsolved problems.
The group at Utah that is focusing on these sorts of problems is the Visual Simulation group.

Last modified: Thu Aug 3 10:19:44 MDT 2000 by Brian Smits