## Abstract

Accurate subsurface scattering solutions require the integration of optical material properties along many complicated light paths. We present a method that learns a simple geometric approximation of random paths in a homogeneous volume with translucent material. The generated representation allows determining the absorption along the path as well as a direct lighting contribution, which is representative of all scatter events along the path. A sequence of conditional variational auto-encoders (CVAEs) is trained to model the statistical distribution of the photon paths inside a spherical region in the presence of multiple scattering events. A first CVAE learns how to sample the number of scatter events, occurring on a ray path inside the sphere, which effectively determines the probability of this ray to be absorbed. Conditioned on this, a second model predicts the exit position and direction of the light particle. Finally, a third model generates a representative sample of photon position and direction along the path, which is used to approximate the contribution of direct illumination due to in-scattering. To accelerate the tracing of the light path through the volumetric medium toward the solid boundary, we employ a sphere-tracing strategy that considers the light absorption and can perform a statistically accurate next-event estimation. We demonstrate efficient learning using shallow networks of only three layers and no more than 16 nodes. In combination with a GPU shader that evaluates the CVAEs’ predictions, performance gains can be demonstrated for a variety of different scenarios. We analyze the approximation error that is introduced by the data-driven scattering simulation and shed light on the major sources of error.

Originalsprache | Englisch |
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Seiten (von - bis) | 165-178 |

Seitenumfang | 14 |

Fachzeitschrift | Computer Graphics Forum |

Jahrgang | 40 |

Ausgabenummer | 2 |

DOIs | |

Publikationsstatus | Veröffentlicht - Mai 2021 |