The Visual Computer

, Volume 21, Issue 8–10, pp 579–590 | Cite as

Geocube – GPU accelerated real-time rendering of transparency and translucency

  • Bin ChanEmail author
  • Wenping Wang
original article


We present a new method based on GPU acceleration for real-time transparency and translucency rendering. Our method computes refraction at both the front and back sides of a transparent object, as well as internal reflection, thus delivering interactive realistic transparency effects on a commodity PC. The real-time performance is made possible by a new acceleration data structure, called geocube, that enables the use of GPU for fast ray-surface intersection testing. In addition, within the same framework, we introduce the novel use of the mip-map for a hierarchical representation of a sequence of key prefiltered environment maps to simulate translucency. By taking ray depth into account and using GPU to interpolate the key filtered maps to produce the desired blurring effects, we achieve real-time realistic translucency rendering of slightly scattering media that allows show-through of background details.


Real-time rendering GPU Transparency Translucency  


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Akenine-Moller T, Haines E (2003) Real-Time Rendering, 2nd edn. A.K. Peters, Wellesley, MAGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Carr N, Hall J, Hart J (2003) GPU algorithm for radiosity and subsurface scattering. In: Proceedings of Graphics Hardware ’03Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chandrasekhar S (1964) Radiative Transfer. Dover, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hao X, Varshney A (2004) Real-time rendering of translucent meshes. ACM Trans Graph 23:120–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jensen H, Christensen P (1998) Efficient simulation of light transport in scences with participating media using photon maps. In: Proceedings of SIGGRAPH ’98, pp 311–320Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jensen H, Marschner S, Levoy M, Hanrahan P (2001) A practical model for subsurface light transport. In: Proceedings of SIGGRAPH ’01, pp 511–518Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kautz J, Vazquez P, Heidrich W, Seidel H (2000) A unified approach to prefiltered environment maps. In: Proceedings of EG Rendering Workshop ’00Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Purcell T, Buck I, Mark WR, Hanrahan P (2002) Ray tracing on programmable graphics hardware. ACM Trans Graph 21:703–712CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Reinhard E, Smith B, Hansen C (2000) Dynamic acceleration structure for interactive ray tracing. In: Rendering Techniques 2000: 11th Eurographics Workshop on Rendering, pp 299–306Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Schroeder W, Martin K, Loresen B (1998) The Visualization Toolkit, 2nd edn. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sloan P, Kautz J, Snyder J (2002) Precomputed radiance transfer for real-time rendering in dynamic, low-frequency lighting environments. In: Proceedings of SIGGRAPH ’02, pp 527–536Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Smith A, Blinn J (1996) Blue screening matting. In: Proceedings of SIGGRAPH ’96, pp 259–268Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Wald I, Benthin C, Dietrich A, Slusallek P (2003) Interactive ray tracing on commodity pc clusters. In: Proceedings of EuroPar 2003, pp 499–508Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wald I, Slusallek P, Benthin C (2001) Interactive distributed ray tracing of highly complex models. In: Rendering Techniques 2001: 12th Eurographics Workshop on Rendering, pp 277–288Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of Hong KongHong Kong

Personalised recommendations