Speeds up rendering time, and greatly reduces blurring and noise. It also reduces memory overhead since scenes can be rendered using fewer stored photons.

About

Photon mapping requires the reconstruction of the lighting using virtual photons in a computer generated graphical image. In traditional approaches, there is a trade-off between variance (noisy images) and bias (blurry images). This can be mitigated by using an order of magnitude more photons, but doing this adds to the time to reconstruct the light, and still suffers from bias versus variance trade-off.

The invention describes a totally new and counter-intuitive approach to reducing such errors by repositioning the photon as a function of its proximity to its nearest neighbours making a judgement on the size and direction of positional error based on where its closest neighbours are located. The method produces dramatically more realistic images with fewer photons in the estimate, and therefore speeds up rendering time, and greatly reduces blurring and noise. It also reduces memory overhead since scenes can be rendered using fewer stored photons.

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