Photon mapping, an extension of ray tracing, makes it possible to efficiently simulate global illumination in complex scenes. Photon mapping can simulate caustics (focused light, like shimmering waves at the bottom of a swimming pool), diffuse inter-reflections (e.g., the "bleeding" of colored light from a red wall onto a white floor, giving the floor a reddish tint), and participating media (such as clouds or smoke). This book is a practical guide to photon mapping; it provides the theory and practical insight necessary to implement photon mapping and simulate all types of direct and indirect illumination efficiently.
Henrik Wann Jensen is an associate professor at the University of California at San Diego, where he works in the computer graphics lab. His research is focused on realistic image synthesis, global illumination, rendering of natural phenomena, and appearance modeling. In 2004, Professor Jensen received an Academy Award (Technical Achievement Award) from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for pioneering research in rendering translucent materials. He also became a Sloan Fellow and he was selected as one of the top 10 scientists in 2004 by Popular Science magazine.