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Practical noise reduction for progressive stochastic ray tracing with perceptual control

: Schwenk, Karsten; Kuijper, Arjan; Behr, Johannes; Fellner, Dieter W.


IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications 32 (2012), No.6, pp.46-55
ISSN: 0272-1716
ISSN: 1558-1756
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IGD ()
filtering; ray tracing; global illumination; Forschungsgruppe Semantic Models, Immersive Systems (SMIS)

A proposed method reduces noise in stochastic ray tracing for interactive progressive rendering. The method accumulates high-variance light paths in a separate buffer, which is filtered by a high-quality edge-preserving filter. Then, this method adds a combination of the noisy unfiltered samples and the less noisy (but biased) filtered samples to the low-variance samples to form the final image. A novel per-pixel blending operator combines both contributions in a way that respects a user-defined threshold on perceived noise. This method can provide fast, reliable previews, even in the presence of complex features such as specular surfaces and high-frequency textures. At the same time, it's consistent in that the bias due to filtering vanishes in the limit.