Fast approximate quantitative visibility for complex scenes

Yiorgos Chrysanthou, Daniel Cohen-Or, Dani Lischinski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Ray tracing and Monte-Carlo based global illumination, as well as radiosity and other finite-element based global illumination methods, all require repeated evaluation of quantitative visibility queries, such as (i) what is the average visibility between a point (a differential area element) and a finite area or volume; or (ii) what is the average visibility between two finite areas or volumes. In this paper, we present a new data structure and an algorithm for rapidly evaluating such queries in complex scenes. The proposed approach utilizes a novel imagebased discretization of the space of bounded rays in the scene, constructed in a preprocessing stage. This data structure makes it possible to quickly compute approximate answers to visibility queries. Because visibility queries are computed using a discretization of the space, the execution time is effectively decoupled from the number of geometric primitives in the scene. A potential hazard with the proposed approach is that it might require large amounts of memory, if the data structures are designed in a naive fashion. We discuss ways for representing the discretization in a compact manner, while still allowing rapid query evaluation. Preliminary results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationProceedings - Computer Graphics International, CGI 1998
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)0818684453, 9780818684456
StatePublished - 1998
Event1998 Computer Graphics International, CGI 1998 - Hannover, Germany
Duration: 22 Jun 199826 Jun 1998

Publication series

NameProceedings - Computer Graphics International, CGI 1998


Conference1998 Computer Graphics International, CGI 1998

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1998 IEEE. All rights reserved.


  • Discrete scene representations
  • Form-factors
  • Global illumination
  • Quantitative visibility
  • Shadow rays


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