Screen space cone tracing for glossy reflections
Indirect lighting (also Global Illumination (GI)) is an important part of photo-realistic imagery and has become a widely used method in real-time graphics applications, such as Computer Aided Design (CAD), Augmented Reality (AR) and video games. Path tracing can already achieve photo-realism by shooting thousands or millions of rays into a 3D scene for every pixel, which results in computational overhead exceeding real-time budgets. However, with modern programmable shader pipelines, a fusion of ray-casting algorithms and rasterization is possible, i.e. methods, which are similar to testing rays against geometry, can be performed on the GPU within a fragment (or rather pixel-) shader. Nevertheless, many implementations for real-time GI still trace perfect specular reflections only. In this work the advantages and disadvantages of different reflection methods are exposed and a combination of some of these is presented, which circumvents artifacts in the rendering and provides a stable, temporally coherent image enhancement. The benefits and failings of this new method are clearly separated as well. Moreover the developed algorithm can be implemented as pure post-process, which can easily be integrated into an existing rendering pipeline.