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## Fastest learning path to spherical harmonics?

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### #1mrheisenberg  Members

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 01:17 PM

I'm doing first year Computer Science now, however I'm not sure if they'll teach me what is required and also I'd like to get to it more quickly, so I'm asking - what is the fastest way to learn Spherical Harmonics?Assuming my high school math was solid, where do I start from?I've used them before, however I just used ready algorithms.I want to be able to understand the math behind it and play around with my own algorithms.I just looked up the wiki page fo SH and each definition branches out with more definitions.I think I require multivariable calculus?So first I need the basics of calculus(differentiation and integration) and then I have to learn to work with the spherical coordinate system which sounds like a more basic task.However I'm not sure from where to start the calculus.Can anyone offer sources for calculus self-teaching?I think I'll also need it for physics calculations later on too.

### #2brucedjones  Members

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 07:20 PM

Has some great material.

### #3nonoptimalrobot  Members

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:54 AM

This is where I started and it seemed to have served me pretty well:  Spherical Harmonic Lighting:  The Gritty Details.  It's important to note that "spherical harmonics" doesn't refer to a specific algorithm but rather a mathematical construction that can be used to solve a variety of rendering related problems.

### #4Promit  Senior Moderators

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 09:45 AM

Really understanding it requires multivariate calculus, linear algebra, and a few misc wildcards just for good measure -- notably generalized algebras. But a full mathematical treatment is probably unnecessary to use them effectively  The above linked paper is probably a good one to lean on.

Edited by Promit, 12 August 2013 - 09:47 AM.

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### #5derKai  Members

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 05:10 AM

This is where I started and it seemed to have served me pretty well:  Spherical Harmonic Lighting:  The Gritty Details.  It's important to note that "spherical harmonics" doesn't refer to a specific algorithm but rather a mathematical construction that can be used to solve a variety of rendering related problems.

I started with this article, too. It's pretty good to see how it's used and what the coefficients do before getting deeper into the math behand.

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