A Compressed Representation for Ray Tracing Parametric Surfaces

Selgrad K, Lier A, Martinek M, Buchenau C, Guthe M, Kranz F, Schäfer H, Stamminger M (2017)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article, Original article

Publication year: 2017


Book Volume: 36

Article Number: 5

Journal Issue: 1

DOI: 10.1145/2953877


Parametric surfaces are an essential modeling tool in computer aided design and movie production. Even though their use is well established in industry, generating ray-traced images adds significant cost in time and memory consumption. Ray tracing such surfaces is usually accomplished by subdividing the surfaces on the fly, or by conversion to a polygonal representation. However, on-the-fly subdivision is computationally very expensive, whereas polygonal meshes require large amounts of memory. This is a particular problem for parametric surfaces with displacement, where very fine tessellation is required to faithfully represent the shape. Hence, memory restrictions are the major challenge in production rendering. In this article, we present a novel solution to this problem. We propose a compression scheme for a priori Bounding Volume Hierarchies (BVHs) on parametric patches, that reduces the data required for the hierarchy by a factor of up to 48. We further propose an approximate evaluation method that does not require leaf geometry, yielding an overall reduction of memory consumption by a factor of 60 over regular BVHs on indexed face sets and by a factor of 16 over established state-of-the-art compression schemes. Alternatively, our compression can simply be applied to a standard BVH while keeping the leaf geometry, resulting in a compression rate of up to 2:1 over current methods. Although decompression generates additional costs during traversal, we can manage very complex scenes even on the memory restrictive GPU at competitive render times.

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Selgrad, K., Lier, A., Martinek, M., Buchenau, C., Guthe, M., Kranz, F.,... Stamminger, M. (2017). A Compressed Representation for Ray Tracing Parametric Surfaces. Acm Transactions on Graphics, 36(1). https://doi.org/10.1145/2953877


Selgrad, Kai, et al. "A Compressed Representation for Ray Tracing Parametric Surfaces." Acm Transactions on Graphics 36.1 (2017).

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