Stochastic Progressive Photon Mapping

Toshiya Hachisuka
Henrik Wann Jensen

UC San Diego

Illustration of the stochastic progressive photon mapping (SPPM) algorithm


This paper presents a simple extension of progressive photon map- ping for simulating global illumination with effects such as depth-of-field, motion blur, and glossy reflections. Progressive photon mapping is a robust global illumination algorithm that can handle complex illumination settings including specular-diffuse-specular paths. The algorithm can compute the correct radiance value at a point in the limit. However, progressive photon mapping is not effective at rendering distributed ray tracing effects, such as depth-of-field, that requires multiple pixel samples in order to compute the correct average radiance value over a region. In this paper, we introduce a new formulation of progressive photon mapping, called stochastic progressive photon mapping, which makes it possible to compute the correct average radiance value for a region. The key idea is to use shared photon statistics within the region rather than isolated photon statistics at a point. The algorithm is easy to implement, and our results demonstrate how it efficiently handles scenes with distributed ray tracing effects, while maintaining the robustness of progressive photon mapping in scenes with complex lighting.

Reference: Toshiya Hachisuka and Henrik Wann Jensen: "Stochastic Progressive Photon Mapping". ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH Asia), 2009

stochastic_progressive_photon_mapping.pdf (11.6MB)