Proceedings: GI 2005

Interactive rendering of caustics using interpolated warped volumes

Manfred Ernst , Tomas Akenine-Möller , Henrik Jensen

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2005: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 9 - 11 May 2005, 87-96

DOI 10.20380/GI2005.11

  • Bibtex

    author = {Ernst, Manfred and Akenine-M{\"o}ller, Tomas and Jensen, Henrik},
    title = {Interactive rendering of caustics using interpolated warped volumes},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2005},
    series = {GI 2005},
    year = {2005},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {1-56881-265-5},
    location = {Victoria, British Columbia, Canada},
    pages = {87--96},
    numpages = {10},
    doi = {10.20380/GI2005.11},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada},


In this paper we present an improved technique for interactive rendering of caustics using programmable graphics hardware. Previous real-time methods have used simple prisms for the caustic volumes and a constant intensity approximation at the receiver. Our approach uses interpolated caustic volumes to render smooth high-quality caustics. We have derived a simple formula for evaluating the density of wave-fronts along a caustic ray, and we have developed a precise method for rendering caustic volumes bounded by bilinear patches. The new optimizations are well suited for programmable graphics hardware and our results demonstrate interactive rendering of caustics from refracting and reflecting surfaces as well as volume caustics. In contrast to previous work, our method renders high quality caustics generated by specular surfaces with much fewer polygons.