GPU-based Volumetric Lighting Simulation

Y. Zhu, G.S. Owen, F. Liu, and A. Aquilio (USA)


Illumination models, rendering algorithm, volumetric lighting, graphics processing unit


The volumetric lighting effect is created by simulating light scattering and absorption by small particles in the air. Ray tracing or radiosity based volumetric lighting methods are too expensive for real-time applications. Although volume rendering based methods may achieve interactive frame rates, they often introduce artifacts in the resulting images. In this paper, we propose a new real-time volumetric lighting algorithm that calculates light scattering and attenuation on a per-pixel basis. The main part of the algorithm is implemented in a fragment shader and therefore takes full advantage of the powerful Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). The algorithm can generate high quality volumetric lighting effects and run at real-time or near real-time frame rates.

Important Links:

Go Back