Proceedings: GI 1998

Lighting Networks – A New Approach for Designing Lighting Algorithms

Philipp Slusallek, Marc Stamminger, Hans-Peter Seidel

Proceedings of Graphics Interface '98: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 18 - 20 June 1998, 17-25

DOI 10.20380/GI1998.03

  • BibTeX

     title = {Lighting Networks --- A New Approach for Designing Lighting Algorithms},
     author = {Philipp Slusallek and Marc Stamminger and Hans-Peter Seidel},
     booktitle ={Proceedings of the Graphics Interface 1998 Conference, June 18-20, 1998, Vancouver, BC, Canada},
     year = {1998},
     month = {June},
     pages = {17--25},
     url = {}


In the past, new global illumination algorithms have usually been designed as a single module that was responsible for the simulation of all aspects of illumination in a scene. A recently developed alternative is the design of small and specialized algorithms (lighting operators) together with an infrastructure for creating more complex algorithms by connecting these building blocks - the Lighting Network.    In this paper, we discuss the benefits of the Lighting Network approach for designing new and improved global illumination algorithms. Lighting Networks not only provide a flexible infrastructure for new algorithms, they also support a better theoretic understanding of the lighting simulation process. We show that a small number of global light propagation operators already provides the basis for creating many of todays illumination algorithms. Their illumination results are converted into more suitable representations by purely local conversion operators that are specific to an illumination algorithm. Varying the composition of these operators and introducing new elements allows us to create and explore the benefits of new simulation algorithms.  We demonstrate the potential of Lighting Networks with several examples, implementing a diverse set of algorithms, such as density estimation, irradiance gradients, and a composite lighting simulation.