Photon-density estimation techniques are a popular choice for simulating light transport in scenes with complicated geometry and materials. This class of algorithms can be used to accurately simulate inter-reflections, caustics, color bleeding, scattering in participating media, and subsurface scattering. Since its introduction, photon-density estimation has been significantly extended in computer graphics with the introduction of: specialized techniques that intelligently modify the positions or bandwidths to reduce visual error using a small number of photons, approaches that eliminate error completely in the limit, and methods that use higher-order samples and queries to reduce error in participating media. This two-part course explains how to implement all these latest advances in photon-density estimation. It begins with a short introduction using classical photon mapping, but the remainder of the course provides new, hands-on explanations of the latest developments in this area by experts in each technique. Attendees gain concrete and practical understanding of the latest developments in photon-density-estimation techniques that have not been presented before in SIGGRAPH courses.
Proceeding, Sa '13 Siggraph Asia 2013 Courses, 2013