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This book provides a fundamental understanding of global illumination algorithms. It discusses a broad class of algorithms for realistic image synthesis and introduces a theoretical basis for the algorithms presented. Topics include: physics of light transport, Monte Carlo methods, general strategies for solving the rendering equation, stochastic path-tracing algorithms such as ray tracing and light tracing, stochastic radiosity including photon density estimation and hierarchical Monte Carlo radiosity, hybrid algorithms, metropolis light transport, irradiance caching, photon mapping and instant radiosity, beyond the rendering equation, image display and human perception. If you want to design and implement a global illumination rendering system or need to use and modify an existing system for your specific purpose, this book will give you the tools and the understanding to do so.

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