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Seminar: Interactive Global Illumination (Ritschel)

Interactive Global Illumination (Seminar, Summer Semester 2014)

Tobias Ritschel
Oskar Elek     Oliver Nalbach


This seminar examines core topics and concepts in Global Illumination, exploring how these can be implemented and used in the environment of interactive physically-based rendering. We will discuss key approaches for simulating Global Illumination, mainly Monte-Carlo and Finite-Element methods, and particularly interesting sub-topics of the field, including visibility calculation, image-space methods, filtering, advanced material reproduction, or light scattering. Our effort will be focused on the design or adaptation of these methods to exploit the computational capabilities of modern hardware, especially GPU's. Most of the topics will cover core knowledge from Computer Graphics, combined with ideas from Computer Vision, Signal Processing, Physics and Perception.


The main target audience are students in Computer Science, with interest in Computer Graphics. We will focus on:
 • Working with and understanding of scientific texts from Computer Graphics and related areas (vision, perception).
 • Implementing the examined methods in a sample functional application.
 • Development of soft skills, mainly collaboration with your colleagues and presentation skills.


The seminar will be structured in the following way:

  • First seminar (presence mandatory):
    Groups of two students are formed. Each group selects a topic and is assigned a peer (Oskar Elek or Oliver Nalbach).
  • First part of the semester:
    Participants have to study and understand the selected topic (mainly by reading 1-2 core papers).
  • During the semester:
    Each group meets once with their peer to discuss the topic and any possible issues they have encountered.
  • Second part of the semester:
    Each group has to reproduce (see below) the selected topic in a demo.
  • Before the end of the semester:
    Implementations need to be finished. Each group prepares a presentation of their topic and meets with their peer to show the demo and discuss/improve the presentation.
  • Final "block" seminar (presence mandatory):
    A 2-day seminar to conclude the semester. Each group gets 50 minutes to present their work (20 min. presentation, 10 min. questions, 20 min. interactive demo session).

Implemeting the studied ideas is an important part of the seminar. The actual extent of the implementation will of course depend on the complexity of the selected topic and will be individually agreed on with your assigned peer. The only requirement is to use C++ for the CPU part and GLSL (or another shading language) for the GPU part; you are free to use any existing frameworks or libraries available on the internet but you need to be able to demonstrate that the core is written by you.

The seminar language is English.

First seminar: Thursday, April 24, 2014, 12:00
Final seminar: TBD
Room: Building E1.4 (Max-Planck-Institut), Room R021
Registration: Please subscribe to this seminar by sending an email with your name, matriculation number, current semester, and email address to Oliver Nalbach.
HISPOS: 80278
Capacity: 20 participants (free slots still left)
ECTS credits: 8 (Visual Computing curriculum) or 7 (remaining curricula)

Additional information and materials are available at this website. (Accessible only from within the university or using your account.)