Lecture 15: Advanced Topics in Material Modeling (22)

It might be worth smoothing between a macro texture and a micro texture depending on distance to improve rendering times. More specifically, the surface from far away appears smooth, so there's no need to expend computation on small details. Up close, these smaller details may be more worthwhile.


This kind of BRDF seems to work when viewing water such as the ocean from a substantial distance. If I want to zoom in on this water I would expect more disturbance, and actual deformation of the material. Would this kind of BRDF work for more dynamic water?


One basic ocean simulation method is Jerry Tessendorf’s method. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi= This method uses Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) to create the simulation of ocean waves.


A few interesting related materials that connect this to human perception of a render this detailed:

  • This incredible data visualization by Refik Anadol emulates waves, but uses a collection of voxels instead of continuous, precise noise to build up something undeniably reminiscent of the ocean. I'm inclined to say that it's the motion in this piece that lends it life--on its own, the model might look less like waves, though the colors align well. I wanted to offer this as an interesting comparison point: the human mind can lend connection and narrative to something so deeply with so much less context than a realistic image offers, and it almost develops more character.

  • This HCI paper describes what it calls "experiential fidelity," wherein what makes a display high-resolution is not the literal quality of the image, but the way in which anticipation, expectations, and delight build up for the user before, during, and after an immersive sensory experience (the paper focuses on VR). This is another interesting counterpoint to such precise detail: the mind builds an unseen world with such a rich perspective almost immediately, where rendering a rich image takes so much fine tuning.


Water simulation is a constantly developing field. Disney had to develop new techniques just to better simulate the water in Moana: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-mathematicians-ocean-life-disney-moana.html

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