Chapter 9


9.1 Achievements of Photorealistic Rendering

Photorealistic rendering and global illumination algorithms have come a long way since the publication of the first recursive ray-tracing algorithm in 1979. There has been a gradual evolution from simple algorithms, some of them deemed to be hacks by today’s standards, to very advanced, fully physically based rendering algorithms.

It is now possible, within a reasonable amount of time, to generate an image that is indistinguishable from a photograph of a real scene. This has been achieved by carefully researching the physical processes that form the basis of photorealistic rendering: light-material interaction, light transport, and the psychophysical aspects of the human visual ...

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