PhD Thesis

"Fast Three-dimensional Rendering Using Isoluminance Contours"


"Isoluminance contouring" is a contour-based solids representation scheme which supports a set of techniques for fast, yet realistic, synthetic scene rendering. Objects are modelled as collections of contours which map contiguous points of equal brightness and chromaticity on their surface.

The construction of isoluminance contours for six simple classes of object (spheres, ellipsoids, cylinders, cones, truncii and polyhedra) is described. These objects are then used as the basis of a constructive solid geometry system, by introducing three regularized Boolean operators over contour sets (union, intersection and difference). A technique for computing isoluminance contours for an arbitrary implicit surface is also detailed.

A fast rendering algorithm for isoluminance contoured objects is presented. The algorithm caters for both primitives and composite objects and compares very favourably in terms of speed and final image quality with established rendering techniques.

The adaptation of various shading models for use with isoluminance contouring is discussed. Extensions to the basic technique are presented which permit the use of multiple illuminants and surfaces with composite (both specular and diffuse) characteristics.

The application of 2D and 3D patterns and 3D textures to isoluminance contoured objects is described. Techniques permitting shadowing, area and volume light sources, finite depth-of-field, motion blur and antialiasing are explained.

An extensive review of existing techniques for representation, shading and rendering of objects is also provided, in order to compare and contrast them with isoluminance contouring.

A series of empirical studies of the efficiency of the technique is presented and conclusions regarding the performance and applicability of the approach are drawn.

Damian Conway /