Slater, Mel; Chrysanthou, Yiorgos; Steed, Anthony
Real-time virtual environments (VEs) are playing a fundamental part in the communications revolution. We can already watch news presented by virtual newscasters and play first-person 3D graphically based games with other players distributed around the world. Computer graphics is driving the technology for VEs, but the need for real-time is in conflict with the quest for increasing realism.
This book shows how a real-time graphics system can be built using a "top down" approach to enhance understanding. It begins with high-level descriptions of perceptual and lighting issues relating to VEs, but quickly becomes more practical, showing how ray tracing can be used to produce high-quality images. Relaxing the assumptions of ray tracing, chapter by chapter, produces a system for generating 3D images in real-time or, in other words, the rendering pipeline of a graphics system.The book is intended for undergraduates or postgraduates studying computer graphics or the visual aspects of VEs. It aims to give students practical knowledge of the fundamentals of the graphics rendering pipeline, modern techniques to maximize the frame rate, and some in-depth information about rendering photorealistic images, motivating the discussion with a focus on VEs.