Guided Visibility Sampling++

Thomas Koch and Michael Wimmer

Proceedings of the ACM on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (I3D 2021)


Visibility computation is a common problem in the field of computer graphics. Examples include occlusion culling, where parts of the scene are culled away, or global illumination simulations, which are based on the mutual visibility of pairs of points to calculate lighting. In this paper, an aggressive from-region visibility technique called Guided Visibility Sampling++ (GVS++) is presented. The proposed technique improves the Guided Visibility Sampling algorithm through improved sampling strategies, thus achieving low error rates on various scenes, and being over four orders of magnitude faster than the original CPU-based Guided Visibility Sampling implementation. We present sampling strategies that adaptively compute sample locations and use ray casting to determine a set of triangles visible from a flat or volumetric rectangular region in space. This set is called a potentially visible set (PVS). Based on initial random sampling, subsequent exploration phases progressively grow an intermediate solution. A termination criterion is used to terminate the PVS search. A modern implementation using the Vulkan graphics API and RTX ray tracing is discussed. Furthermore, we show optimizations that allow for an implementation that is over 20 times faster than a naive implementation.