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Since human (and presumably monkey) cones are more sensitive to green than they are to red and blue, would a sort of color-based sampling be of any use? Like for instance if a certain area of the scene is returning a lot of green hits, you could adaptively have the program send more rays out into that area to make sure it's as accurate as possible (since we'd notice inaccuracies a lot more) and vice versa for areas where red/blue dominate?


Yes, there are definitely opportunities along those lines! In a few lectures, we'll use luminance (which, as a photometric quantity, accounts for the eye's greater sensitivity to green) to decide when to stop doing more work in global illumination algorithms.

Related, some researchers have tried to take advantage of other characteristics of the human visual system to do more efficient rendering--e.g. this paper takes advantage of high frequency textures to find places where lower-quality lighting calculations can be done without human observers noticing...