COMPUTATIONAL SURFACE DESIGN TO PROJECT DEFINED

CAUSTIC REFLECTIONS

Year: 2014 – now

Client: PCH INNOVATIONS

OUR MANDATE:
Caustics are captivating light patterns, created by materials focusing or diverting light by refraction or reflection. Normally we know caustics as random side effects. (e.g. play of light in water). Whenever multiple rays of light converge on the same point on a surface, they cause that region to become relatively brighter than its surrounding regions; these non-uniform distributions of bright and dark regions are known as caustics. We wanted to find a way to control caustic patterns – to form almost any desired shape by optimizing the geometry of the reflective or refractive surface generating the caustic

OUR APPROACH:
Real-time computer graphics have been influenced by image-space algorithms, i.e., algorithms that operate on images of objects rather than the object geometry E.g. shadow or displacement mapping is a widely used image-space technique for rendering shadows by performing a simple depth test on rasterized pixels rather than doing expensive shadow-ray intersection tests with the scene geometry Image-space algorithms allow for a fast, approximative approach for rendering various optical effects that are prohibitively slow to produce using conventional geometric techniques, especially for real-time applications such as games Recent research developments have introduced a new image-space technique for rendering caustics in real-time: Caustics Mapping The convergence of the light rays is generally caused by reflective or refractive objects, which bend the rays causing them to change their direction and focus on a single point

RESULTS:
Our inhouse developed caustics mapping algorithm simulates this light transport using an approximative image-space approach to render visually convincing caustics in real-time.
The concept of our algorithm is quite simple and intuitive: It starts with tracing light through the refractive object; the footprints of the refracted light are then collected onto an image plane facing the light source to create a caustics map.
Translation in various objects (that unfortunately can not be disclosed)