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Perturbation Methods for Interactive Specular Reflections
July-September 2000 (vol. 6 no. 3)
pp. 253-264

Abstract—We describe a new approach for interactively approximating specular reflections in arbitrary curved surfaces. The technique is applicable to any smooth implicitly defined reflecting surface that is equipped with a ray intersection procedure; it is also extremely efficient as it employs local perturbations to interpolate point samples analytically. After ray tracing a sparse set of reflection paths with respect to a given vantage point and static reflecting surfaces, the algorithm rapidly approximates reflections of arbitrary points in 3-space by expressing them as perturbations of nearby points with known reflections. The reflection of each new point is approximated to second-order accuracy by applying a closed-form perturbation formula to one or more nearby reflection paths. This formula is derived from the Taylor expansion of a reflection path and is based on first and second-order path derivatives. After preprocessing, the approach is fast enough to compute reflections of tessellated diffuse objects in arbitrary curved surfaces at interactive rates using standard graphics hardware. The resulting images are nearly indistinguishable from ray traced images that take several orders of magnitude longer to generate.

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Index Terms:
Animation systems, illumination effects, implicit surfaces, matting and compositing, optics, ray tracing.
Min Chen, James Arvo, "Perturbation Methods for Interactive Specular Reflections," IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 253-264, July-Sept. 2000, doi:10.1109/2945.879786
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