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<p><it>Abstract</it>—This paper presents a new radiosity algorithm that allows the simultaneous computation of energy exchanges between surface elements, scattering volume distributions, and groups of surfaces, or object clusters. The new technique is based on a hierarchical formulation of the zonal method, and efficiently integrates volumes and surfaces. In particular no initial linking stage is needed, even for inhomogeneous volumes, thanks to the construction of a global spatial hierarchy. An analogy between object clusters and scattering volumes results in a powerful clustering radiosity algorithm, with no initial linking between surfaces and fast computation of average visibility information through a cluster. We show that the accurate distribution of the energy emitted or received at the cluster level can produce even better results than isotropic clustering at a marginal cost. The resulting algorithm is fast and, more importantly, truly progressive as it allows the quick calculation of approximate solutions with a smooth convergence towards very accurate simulations.</p>
Radiosity, hierarchical techniques, clustering, visibility, volume scattering, lighting simulation, realistic image synthesis.

F. X. Sillion, "A Unified Hierarchical Algorithm for Global Illumination with Scattering Volumes and Object Clusters," in IEEE Transactions on Visualization & Computer Graphics, vol. 1, no. , pp. 240-254, 1995.
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