Physically Based Rendering: From Theory to Implementation (The Interactive 3d Technology Series)

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0125531801
ISBN-10: 012553180X
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Editorial Reviews


"I think this book is great. It's state-of-the-art, and covers the area from soup to nuts and with more depth than any other book I know." -Eric Haines, Autodesk Inc.

Book Description

The most complete guide to rendering—in both concept and code

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Product Details

  • Series: The Interactive 3d Technology Series
  • Hardcover: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann (August 18, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 012553180X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0125531801
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 8.3 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,427,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By MrZ on November 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Although it is not possible here, I am fairly sure this book deserves such rating. This is truly remarkable work and is likely to become a classic text in the field of computer graphics.

It is not a survey-type book, instead of trying to describe every possible method out there, the authors have concentrated on a few selected techniques, that are not only good (modern, fast, easy to implement, etc.), but also have some pedagogical merits and can serve as a gentle introduction to the world of ray tracing and digital image synthesis. Despite focusing on selected areas, the authors managed to squeeze here in an amazing amount of material. Among other topics, this book covers: subdivision surfaces, ray-primitive intersection acceleration techniques (3D DDA and kd-tree), color and radiometry, anti-aliasing, tone mapping, physically based reflection models, texture mapping (including texture anti-aliasing using ray differentials), area lights and HDR Image Based Lighting, volume scattering and much more.

A large part of the book has been devoted to the light transport and Monte Carlo techniques. One can find there an introduction to the theory of Monte Carlo estimation (including selected methods for reducing variance and computation time, like Russian roulette, multiple importance sampling or stratified sampling) and explanation of important light transport equations (rendering and transfer equations).

Finally the authors have described (and implemented) several solutions for the rendering equation: Whitted-style recursive ray tracing, direct illumination estimation, path tracing, irradiance caching and photon mapping.

However, it is not only the vastness of the material covered in this book, that causes this volume should be praised so highly.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book mixes detailed algorithm descriptions with actual code in a book that never loses sight of the "big picture" of physically based ray tracing and image synthesis. Although it is very well written and is not a dry academic book at all, it would help if the reader is already familiar with basic computer graphic techniques, linear algebra, calculus, and optics in order to get the most out of this book. It was never meant to be a replacement for Foley & Van Dam's classic book on computer graphics, even though the first few chapters go over basic computer graphic material. The book includes a website where the source code of the authors' renderer can be downloaded. This code is very well organized and commented so that if you wish to lift individual pieces from the entire software package you can with just a little bit of work. I highly recommend this book to the programmer who wishes to implement physically based rendering in his/her own code or wants to know about the practical implementation of image synthesis techniques. Amazon does not show any details about the book here, so I shall explain the contents in the context of the table of contents:
This chapter talks briefly about all kinds of topics related to ray tracing. It also talks about how to understand the code in the book and the book website.
This chapter is pretty basic computer graphics stuff. It talks about coordinate systems, vectors, arithmetic, scaling, dot and cross products,etc. Applying transformations via matrices is also discussed as well as the representation of points, vectors, normals, rays, and bounding boxes.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Doug Epps on November 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book covers everything you need to know to write a ray tracer with

advanced features like photon mapping, volume scattering, path tracing,

etc. The scope of the material it covers is stunning. It starts from the

basics of topics like 3D geometry and ray/object intersections and then

builds up to explain reflection models, advanced texturing techniques, and

then light transport algorithms.

It has excellent discussions of the theory and underlying math of physical

rendering blended (rather well) with very very useful practical

implementations of the theory. The leap from theory to implementation is

often difficult to do, and to do well or efficiently even more difficult.

(The ray acceleration code alone is worth it's weight in gold.) This is an

indispensable book for anyone who wants to write their own ray tracer or

learn more about the latest techniques used in photorealistic rendering.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Manchor Ko on May 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I do ray tracing and GI for a living. When I got started on my ray tracer I was struggling with several basic issues. Even though I tried to locate all the published material on those subject there was still significant gaps. Issues like 'how to shot photons', what about all these 'cosines'. How do you actually implement a kd-tree. I read Shirley's, Jansen's, Glassner's and Advanced Global Illumination and a lot of the older Siggraph papers. PBRT came out just in time to rescue me. It contains the only complete implementation of a photonmap.

It's strong point is a complete running GI engine. However the literate programming style used in the book meant a lot of time I cannot read a subject by itself. The use of abstract interfaces sort of force you to use the class browser to follow the logic. You pretty much have to read it from the beginning. The quality of the code contained goes beyond the usual standard of code published as examples. It contains a rather sophiscated random number generator. Its treatment of LDS plus sampling and recontruction in general is excellent. It is the only source that shows how to implement Li's algorithm to generate random rays to sample a sphere. Same goes for Malley's. Shirley and Chui's concentric sampling method is hidden in the appendix of a old Siggraph paper.

The book also has code to sample and model most of the common light sources. Which is surprisingly non-trivial.

I highly recommend this book but it does require a certain level of commitment to get the most out of this book. The chapters on sampling, ray differential, texture filtering, light transport I consider must reads for all graphics programmer even though you might not be working on ray tracing.
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