AbstractWe consider the scattering of light in participating media composed of sparsely and randomly distributed discrete particles. The particle size is expected to range from the scale of the wavelength to the scale several orders of magnitude greater than the wavelength, and the appearance shows distinct graininess as opposed to the smooth appearance of continuous media. One fundamental issue in physically-based synthesizing this appearance is to determine necessary optical properties in every local region. Since these optical properties vary spatially, we resort to geometrical optics approximation (GOA), a highly efficient alternative to rigorous Lorenz-Mie theory, to quantitatively represent the scattering of a single particle. This enables us to quickly compute bulk optical properties according to any particle size distribution. Then, we propose a practical Monte Carlo rendering solution to solve the transfer of energy in discrete participating media. Results show that for the first time our proposed framework can simulate a wide range of discrete participating media with different levels of graininess and converges to continuous media as the particle concentration increases.
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