Chapter 26

Global Illumination

Image courtesy of Steven Parker

Image courtesy of Steven Parker


By the end of this chapter, you should:

  • understand how path tracing works;
  • know how to combine direct and indirect illumination in a path tracer;
  • appreciate path tracing's abilities and limitations.

26.1 Light Transport

In previous chapters, we looked at direct illumination from a variety of light sources and at indirect illumination with perfect specular and glossy specular reflection. There are, however, many other ways that light can be transported in a scene. The general situation is reflection between surfaces with arbitrary BRDFs. An example is reflection between ...

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