Efficient Re-rendering of Naturally Illuminated Environments

  • Jeffry S. Nimeroff
  • Eero Simoncelli
  • Julie Dorsey
Part of the Focus on Computer Graphics book series (FOCUS COMPUTER)


We present a method for the efficient re-rendering of a scene under a directional illuminant at an arbitrary orientation. We take advantage of the linearity of the rendering operator with respect to illumination for a fixed scene and camera geometry. Re-rendering is accomplished via linear combination of a set of pre-rendered “basis” images. The theory of steerable functions provides the machinery to derive an appropriate set of basis images. We demonstrate the technique on both simple and complex scenes illuminated by an approximation to natural skylight. We show re-rendering simulations under conditions of varying sun position and cloudiness.


Computer Graphic Directional Cosine Basis Image Global Illumination Fourth Order Approximation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    CIE Techinical Committee 4.2. Standardization of luminance distribution on clear skies. CIE Publication No. 22, Commission International de L’Eclairaze, Paris, 1973.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    John M. Airey, John H. Rohlf, and Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.: Towards image realism with interactive update rates in complex virtual building environments. In Computer Graphics (1990 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics), volume 24, pages 41–50, March 1990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chris Buckalew and Donald Fussell. Illumination networks: Fast realistic rendering with general reflectance functions. In Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH ’89 Proceedings), volume 23, pages 89–98, July 1989.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    I. W. Busbridge. The Mathematics of Radiative Transfer. Cambridge University Press, Bristol, 1960.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Shenchang Eric Chen. Incremental radiosity: An extension of progressive radiosity to an interactive image synthesis system. In Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH ’90 Proceedings), volume 24, pages 135–144, August 1990.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    IES Daylighting Committee. Recommended practice of daylighting. Lighting Design and Application, 9 (2): 45–58, 1979.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Julie Dorsey. Computer Graphics Techniques for Opera Lighting Design and Simulation. PhD thesis, Cornell University, Program of Computer Graphics, Ithaca, NY, January 1993.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Julie Dorsey, James Arvo, and Donald Greenberg. Interactive design of complex time-dependent lighting. Submitted for publication, 1994.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    William T. Freeman and Edward H. Adelson. The design and use of steerable filters. IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 13 (9): 891–906, September 1991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gene H. Golub and Charles F. Van Loan. Matrix Computations. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, 1989.MATHGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    James T. Kajiya. The rendering equation. In Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH ’86 Proceedings), volume 20, pages 143–150, August 1986.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    James T. Kajiya. Radiometry and photometry for computer graphics. In SIGGRAPH ’90 Advanced Topics in Ray Tracing Course Notes. ACM Press, August 1990.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Claus Muller. Spherical Harmonics. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, 1966.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jeffry S. NimerofF, Eero Simoncelli, Julie Dorsey, and Norman I. Badler. Rendering spaces for architectural environments. Submitted to Presence, the Journal of Virtual Reality and Teleoperators, April 1994.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Tomoyuki Nishita and Eihachiro Nakamae. Continuous tone representation of three-dimensional objects illuminated by sky light. In Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH ’86 Proceedings), volume 20, pages 125–132, August 1986.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    P Perona. Deformable kernels for early vision. In IEEE Comp. Soc. Conf. Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, pages 222–227, Maui, 1991.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Chris Schoeneman, Julie Dorsey, Brian Smits, James Arvo, and Donald Greenberg. Painting with light. In Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH ’93 Proceedings), volume 27, pages 143–146, August 1993.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Carlo H. Séquin and Eliot K. Smyrl. Parameterized ray tracing. In Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH ’89 Proceedings), volume 23, pages 307–314, July 1989.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Eero P. Simoncelli. Distributed Analysis and Representation of Visual Motion. PhD thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Cambridge, MA, January 1993. Also available as MIT Media Laboratory Vision and Modeling Technical Report #209.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Eero P. Simoncelli, William T. Freeman, Edward H. Adelson, and David J. Heeger. Shiftable multiscale transforms. IEEE Trans. Information Theory, 38(2):587–607, March 1992. Special Issue on Wavelets.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Gilbert Strang. Introduction to Applied Mathematics. Wellesley-Cambridge Press, Wellesley, MA, 1986.MATHGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Gregory J. Ward. The radiance lighting simulation system. In Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH ’94 Proceedings), volume 28, July 1994.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© EUROGRAPHICS The European Association for Computer Graphics 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffry S. Nimeroff
    • 1
  • Eero Simoncelli
    • 1
  • Julie Dorsey
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer and Information ScienceUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of ArchitectureUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations