State of the Art in Photon Density Estimation

    Friday, 22 November

    09:00 - 12:45

    Room S222

    Photon density estimation techniques are a popular choice for simulating light transport in scenes with complicated geometry and materials. This class of algorithms can be used to accurately simulate inter-reflections, caustics, color bleeding, scattering in participating media and subsurface scattering. Since its introduction, photon density estimation has been significantly extended in computer graphics with the introduction of: specialized techniques that intelligently modify the positions or bandwidths to reduce visual error using a small number of photons, approaches which eliminates error completely in the limit, methods that use higher-order samples and queries to reduce error in participating media, and recent generalized formulations that bridge the gap between photon density estimation and other techniques.

    This course provides the necessary insight to implement all these latest advances in photon density estimation. The course starts out with a short introduction to photon density estimation using classical photon mapping, but the remainder of the two-part course provides new, hands-on explanations of the latest developments in this area by the experts behind each technique.

    The course will give the audience concrete and practical understanding of the latest developments in photon density estimation techniques that have not been presented in prior SIGGRAPH/SIGGRAPH Asia courses.



    Intended Audience

    Practitioners, researchers, and developers of rendering systems who are interested in the latest work in global illumination using photon-density estimation.


    Basic knowledge of light-transport simulation such as the rendering equation, radiometry, and Monte Carlo integration.


    Toshiya Hachisuka, Aarhus University
    Wojciech Jarosz, Disney Research Zurich
    Iliyan Georgiev, Saarland University
    Anton Kaplanyan, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
    Derek Nowrouzezahrai, Universite de Montreal

    Toshiya Hachisuka is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Aarhus University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from UC San Diego in 2011 and B.Eng. from the University of Tokyo in 2006.

    Wojciech Jarosz is a Research Scientist in charge of the rendering group at Disney Research Zurich, and an adjunct lecturer at ETH Zurich. Prior to joining Disney, Wojciech obtained his Ph.D. (2008) and M.S. (2005) in computer graphics from UC San Diego, and his B.S. (2003) in computer science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

    Iliyan Georgiev is a graphics researcher at Saarland University, Germany, pursuing a Ph.D. degree. He received a B.Sc. degree in computer science from Sofia University, Bulgaria, and a M.Sc. degree in computer science from Saarland University. His primary research interests are ray tracing and Monte Carlo methods for physically-based global illumination rendering.

    Anton Kaplanyan is a graphics researcher and a PhD candidate at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany. His primary research and recent publications are about advanced light transport methods for global illumination. Prior to joining academia Anton had been working at Crytek at various positions ranging from senior R&D graphics engineer to lead researcher, leading the development of novel real-time rendering approaches, including the famous Light Propagation Volumes technique. He received his M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics at National Research University of Electronic Technology, Moscow in 2007.

    Derek Nowrouzezahrai is an Assistant Professor at the University of Montreal and Co-director of the Computer Graphics Research Group ( Prior to joining UdeM, Derek was a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Disney Research Zurich, as well as working at Microsoft Research, Microsoft,, Electronic Arts and Research in Motion. Derek's research deals with realistic appearance modeling, interactive rendering, non-photorealistic rendering, physically-based animation, fluid simulation and geometry processing. For more information on Derek and his work, please refer to his website.