February 10, 2010
In class yesterday, we talked about how the visiting artist Daniel Cove or whoever made a point that you can only depend on 3D renderings of form so much, as the light within the program doesn’t bounce off surfaces realistically. Well, today I came across this Wikipedia article while doing important school-related research about video games.
Global illumination is a general name for a group of algorithms used in 3D computer graphics that are meant to add more realistic lighting to 3D scenes. Such algorithms take into account not only the light which comes directly from a light source (direct illumination), but also subsequent cases in which light rays from the same source are reflected by other surfaces in the scene, whether reflective or non (indirect illumination).
Rendering without global illumination. Areas that lie outside of the ceiling lamp's direct light lack definition. For example, the lamp's housing appears completely uniform. Without the ambient light added into the render, it would appear uniformly black.
Rendering with global illumination. Light is reflected by surfaces, and colored light transfers from one surface to another. Notice how color from the red wall and green wall (not visible) reflects onto other surfaces in the scene. Also notable is the caustic projected onto the red wall from light passing through the glass sphere.
Seems pretty RELEVANT to the discussion. Here are a few more rendered images utilizing the technology.
BONUS QUESTIONS: Do you guys think that these images are more successful at mimicking the way light looks like in real life, or just in photographs?