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Improved Computational Methods for Ray Tracing

By Hank Weghorst, Gary Hooper and Donald P. Greenberg


This paper describes algorithmic procedures that have been implemented to reduce the computational expense of producing ray-traced images. The selection of bounding volumes is examined to reduce the computational cost of the ray-intersection test. The use of object coherence, which relies on a hierarchical description of the environment, is then presented. Finally, since the building of the ray-intersection trees is such a large portion of the computation, a method using image coherence is described. This visible-surface preprocessing method, which is dependent upon the creation of an "item buffer, " takes advantage of a priori image information. Examples that indicate the efficiency of these techniques for a variety of representative environments are presented

Topics: shading, shadowing, and texture General Terms, Algorithms Additional Keywords and Phrases, Computer graphics, ray tracing, visible-surface algorithms, hier- archical data structures
Year: 1984
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