Two Stage Importance Sampling for Direct Lighting


We describe an importance sampling method to generate samples based on the product of a BRDF and an environment map or large light source. The method works by creating a hierarchical partition of the light source based on the BRDF function for each primary (eye) ray in a ray tracer. This partition, along with a summed area table of the light source, form an approximation to the product function that is suitable for importance sampling. The partition is used to guide a sample warping algorithm to transform a uniform distribution of points so that they approximate the product distribution. The technique is unbiased, requires little precomputation, and we demonstrate that it works well for a variety of BRDF types. Further, we present an adaptive method which allocates varying numbers of samples to different image pixels to reduce shadow artifacts.

Eurographics Symposium on Rendering