Peering Through a Glass, Darkly
at the Future of Real-Time Transparency


SIGGRAPH 2016 Open Problems in Real-Time Rendering Course Invited Talk

Morgan McGuire, NVIDIA and Williams College

Course Notes (47 MB PDF) Course Notes (2.7 MB Low-res PDF)
Abstract
Presentation Video (354 MB MP4)
Presentation Video (YouTube)
Presentation Slides (49 MB PPT)
BibTex

Abstract

Today's real-time rendering techniques are exceptionally good and fast for large, opaque reflective surfaces. A large number of phenomena loosely grouped as "transparency" present serious challenges for both image quality and performance. These include partial coverage, refraction, translucent shadows, volumetric lighting, and subsurface scattering. Games use careful art direction and targeted effects, but have no unified solution that "just works" analogous to opaque surface methods.

The authors will first sketch the physics and computer science of why transparency is so challenging that even offline renderers can only approximate it. Then current methods will be presented, and the speaker will conclude by summarizing thoughts from leaders in production and research on the potential form of an ideal transparency solution...and practical constraints it must satisfy.

Video

BibTex


@misc{McGuire2016Darkly,
  author = {Morgan McGuire}
  title = {Peering Through a Glass, Darkly at the Future of Real-Time Transparency},
  month = {July},
  day = {26},
  year = {2016},
  pages = {54},
  note = {in SIGGRAPH 2016 Open Problems in Real-Time Rendering Course},
  editor = {Aaron Lefohn and Natalya Tatarchuk},
  url = {http://graphics.cs.williams.edu/papers/TransparencySIGGRAPH16}
}