So everyone's really excited about voxel cone tracing, a realtime raytracing alike that EPIC is attempting to make work in Unreal Engine 4: http://www.unrealengine.com/files/misc/The_Technology_Behind_the_Elemental_Demo_16x9_%282%29.pdf
Right now everyone that's tried this, Nvidia and Epic, have only used it for tracing bounce lighting. But what you're doing is tracing the entire environment, and since you're already doing that, why not use the rest of the information you're getting as well?
Now I know that you can do ambient occlusion with this, but I was wondering why you wouldn't just replace an ambient term (assuming you had one) with an environmental one? Have the entire environment cast light onto itself, you'd get directional colored lighting for free! Turns out Pixar was ahead of me: http://graphics.pixar.com/library/PointBasedGlobalIlluminationForMovieProduction/Slides.pdf
They already use this for their GI, calling them "fill lights". Basically each voxelized point would act as if it was transmitting light, regardless of whether it was being directly hit by a light source (which you also add to the luminance). But you don't actually show this luminance in your final render. Instead you'd then cone trace into this and gather as normal, gathering luminance from everything, giving you free colored, directional light instead of only bounce light.
For a specular hack you could just have your specular cone gather the direct "radiated" color/luminance, maybe desaturated for the fill light value to emulate the reflection coming from bounced lighting.
Frenetic PonyMember Since 30 Oct 2011
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What is best in life? Cookies, sunshine, ponies, oh and physics too. Physics is pretty cool.
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