Developing and optimising a raytracing lighting engine for interactive rendering applications

Jordan, Oliver (2023) Developing and optimising a raytracing lighting engine for interactive rendering applications. Masters thesis, Universty of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

Render engines for video games over the years have become more capable of rendering visually realistic images at higher frame rates. This is in large part to hardware companies designing GPUs with raytracing as a leading feature, bringing the technology to consumer levels of availability. One of the technologies that contributes to a higher level of believability in a generated image is raytracing. Raytracing approximates how light travels within a 3D environment by firing rays – straight lines within a 3D space – from a light source to the point where a scene is being viewed from, bouncing off objects and calculating how the colour of the light changes at each bounce. This allows for the modelling of reflection and refraction based on how light transports within the real world, allowing for realistic distribution of light. The aim of this thesis was to create a render engine that did not rely on proprietary hardware, as consumer-based ray tracing does, and see how plausible such an engine was for video game applications. This thesis approached the problem with a bidirectional path tracer. Several builds were made, including a variant of the engine that attempted to improve the render time of frames through pre calculating many of the light paths ahead of the frame being rendered. The produced engine was not able to draw scenes in times applicable for video game application, taking several seconds to draw. However, this thesis found that improvements made between versions did significantly reduce draw time, showing some promise that it could be taken even lower with additional optimisation. Further avenues of research should be taken into moving the work done when calculating rays to a stage before the live rendering.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: raytracing, computer graphics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Oliver Jordan
Date Deposited: 02 May 2023 12:22
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 12:22
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/2385

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