Real-time Simulation of Volumetric Stage Light

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för teknik och naturvetenskapTekniska högskolan

Author: David Bajt; [2008]

Keywords: ;


As current pre-visualization applications for the stage lighting industry only is developed for the PC-market, this master thesis can be considered as the first graphics engine prototype implementation of a completely new visualizer, not only for Mac, but for all platforms.

The result is a cross-platform application in real-time, fully concentrated in simulating a real stage spotlight which not only illuminates surfaces, but also the air itself, referred to as volumetric light. In order to achieve such a phenomenon, a texture-based approach is used, mainly implemented in a fragment shader and therefore takes full advantage of the powerful Graphics Processing Unit (GPU).

Similar to traditional ray tracing based algorithms, the method calculates light intensity on a per-pixel basis by integrating scattered light along the ray. The algorithm can also render surface shadows, shadow holes and create gobo effects in the volumetric lighting using a shadow mapping method. As the quality of light, shadows and surface characteristics are one of the most competitive features in a modern visualizer, these attributes are of greatest concern. I n order to alter light source parameters such as light intensity, color, zoom, etc. during run-time, a simple graphical user interface (GUI) is also attached to the application.

I n brief, this master thesis stands as the “proof of concept”, i.e. a study if the latest real-time graphics technology, including OpenGL- and shader programming, often used in Windows environments also can be used for volumetric stage light simulations in a Macintosh environment.

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