The Irradiance Volume

Gene Greger

Master's thesis, Cornell University, 1996


This thesis presents a volumetric representation for the global illumination within a space based on the radiometric quantity irradiance. We call this representation the irradiance volume. Although irradiance is traditionally computed only for surfaces, its definition can be naturally extended to all points and directions in space. The irradiance volume supports the reconstruction of believable approximations to the illumination in situations that overwhelm traditional global illumination algorithms. A theoretical basis for the irradiance volume is discussed and the methods and issues involved with building the volume are described. The irradiance volume method is tested within several situations in which the use of traditional global illumination methods is impractical, and is shown to provide good performance.

[Thesis - 9.8 MB PDF file]