Published on January 5, 2017 by Microsoft Research
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In this paper, we propose techniques for modeling and rendering of heterogeneous translucent materials that enable acquisition from measured samples, interactive editing of material attributes, and real-time rendering. The materials are assumed to be optically dense such that multiple scattering can be approximated by a diffusion process described by the diffusion equation. For modeling heterogeneous materials, we present an algorithm for acquiring material properties from appearance measurements by solving an inverse diffusion problem. Our modeling algorithm incorporates a regularizer to handle the ill-conditioned inverse problem, an adjoint method to dramatically reduce the computational cost, and a hierarchical GPU implementation for further speedup. To display an object with known material properties, we present an algorithm that performs rendering by solving the diffusion equation with the boundary condition defined by the given illumination environment. This algorithm is centered around object representation by a polygrid, a grid with regular connectivity and an irregular shape, which facilitates the solution of the diffusion equation in arbitrary volumes. Because of the regular connectivity, our rendering algorithm can be implemented on the GPU for real-time performance. We demonstrate our techniques by capturing materials from physical samples and performing real-time rendering and editing with these materials.

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