Ray-Based Reflectance Model for Diffraction

01/28/2011
by   Tom Cuypers, et al.
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We present a novel method of simulating wave effects in graphics using ray--based renderers with a new function: the Wave BSDF (Bidirectional Scattering Distribution Function). Reflections from neighboring surface patches represented by local BSDFs are mutually independent. However, in many surfaces with wavelength-scale microstructures, interference and diffraction requires a joint analysis of reflected wavefronts from neighboring patches. We demonstrate a simple method to compute the BSDF for the entire microstructure, which can be used independently for each patch. This allows us to use traditional ray--based rendering pipelines to synthesize wave effects of light and sound. We exploit the Wigner Distribution Function (WDF) to create transmissive, reflective, and emissive BSDFs for various diffraction phenomena in a physically accurate way. In contrast to previous methods for computing interference, we circumvent the need to explicitly keep track of the phase of the wave by using BSDFs that include positive as well as negative coefficients. We describe and compare the theory in relation to well understood concepts in rendering and demonstrate a straightforward implementation. In conjunction with standard raytracers, such as PBRT, we demonstrate wave effects for a range of scenarios such as multi--bounce diffraction materials, holograms and reflection of high frequency surfaces.

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