A Programmable System for Artistic Volumetric Lighting

1Disney Research Zürich 2Walt Disney Animation Studios

In ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH), 2011
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Our system was used to author artistic volumetric effects for the movie Tangled. Our technique's ability to produce curving light beams is used to match the organic artistic style of the film.


We present a method for generating art-directable volumetric effects, ranging from physically-accurate to non-physical results. Our system mimics the way experienced artists think about volumetric effects by using an intuitive lighting primitive, and decoupling the modeling and shading of this primitive. To accomplish this, we generalize the physically-based photon beams method to allow arbitrarily programmable simulation and shading phases. This provides an intuitive design space for artists to rapidly explore a wide range of physically-based as well as plausible, but exaggerated, volumetric effects. We integrate our approach into a real-world production pipeline and couple our volumetric effects to surface shading.


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Text Reference

Derek Nowrouzezahrai, Jared Johnson, Andrew Selle, Dylan Lacewell, Michael Kaschalk, Wojciech Jarosz. A Programmable System for Artistic Volumetric Lighting. ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH), 30(4):29:1–29:8, August 2011.

BibTex Reference

    author = "Nowrouzezahrai, Derek and Johnson, Jared and Selle, Andrew and Lacewell, Dylan and Kaschalk, Michael and Jarosz, Wojciech",
    title = "A Programmable System for Artistic Volumetric Lighting",
    journal = "ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH)",
    volume = "30",
    number = "4",
    month = "aug",
    year = "2011",
    issn = "0730-0301",
    pages = "29:1–29:8",
    articleno = "29",
    numpages = "8",
    doi = "10.1145/2010324.1964924"

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