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Lens flare prediction based on measurements with real-time visualization

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The Visual Computer

Abstract

Lens flare is a visual phenomenon caused by interreflection of light within a lens system. This effect is often seen as an undesired artifact, but it also gives rendered images a realistic appearance and is even used for artistic purposes. In the area of computer graphics, several simulation-based approaches have been presented to render lens flare for a given spherical lens system. For physically reliable results, these approaches require an accurate description of that system, which differs from camera to camera. Also, for the lens flares appearance, crucial parameters---especially the anti-reflection coatings---can often only be approximated. In this paper we present a novel workflow for generating physically plausible renderings of lens flare phenomena by analyzing the lens flares captured with a camera. Our method allows predicting the occurrence of lens flares for a given light setup. This is an often requested feature in light planning applications in order to efficiently avoid lens flare-prone light positioning. A model with a tight parameter set and a GPU-based rendering method allows our approach to be used in real-time applications.

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