Efficient Re-rendering of Naturally Illuminated Environments

Abstract: We present a method for the efficient re-rendering of a scene under a directional illuminant at an arbitrary orientation. We take advantage of the linearity of the rendering operator with respect to illumination for a fixed scene and camera geometry. Re-endering is accomplished via linear combination of a set of pre-rendered “basis” images. The theory of steerable functions provides the machinery to derive an appropriate set of basis images. We demonstrate the technique on both simple and complex scenes illuminated by an approximation to natural skylight. We show re-rendering simulations under conditions of varying sun position and cloudiness.