Physically-Based Real-Time
Lens Flare Rendering

Matthias B. Hullin1      Elmar Eisemann2,1,3      Hans-Peter Seidel1,3      Sungkil Lee4,1

1MPI Informatik    2Télécom ParisTech    3Universität des Saarlandes    4Sungkyunkwan University

In: ACM Transactions on Graphics vol.30 No.4 (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 2011). Patent pending.


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Lens flare is caused by light passing through a photographic lens system in an unintended way. Often considered a degrading artifact, it has become a crucial component for realistic imagery and an artistic means that can even lead to an increased perceived brightness. So far, only costly offline processes allowed for convincing simulations of the complex light interactions. In this paper, we present a novel method to interactively compute physically-plausible flare renderings for photographic lenses. The underlying model covers many components that are important for realism, such as imperfections, chromatic and geometric lens aberrations, and antireflective lens coatings. Various acceleration strategies allow for a performance/quality tradeoff, making our technique applicable both in real-time applications and in high-quality production rendering. We further outline artistic extensions to our system.

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SIGGRAPH 2011 Talk


   author = {Matthias B. Hullin and Elmar Eisemann and Hans-Peter Seidel and Sungkil Lee}, 
   title = {Physically-Based Real-Time Lens Flare Rendering}, 
   journal = {ACM Trans. Graph. (Proc. SIGGRAPH 2011)}, 
   volume = {30}, number = {4}, 
   year = {2011}, 
   pages = {108:1--108:9}, 

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