Rendering Neural Materials on Curved Surfaces

International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques(2022)

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BSTRACT Neural material reflectance representations address some limitations of traditional analytic BRDFs with parameter textures; they can theoretically represent any material data, whether a complex synthetic microgeometry with displacements, shadows and inter-reflections, or real measured reflectance. However, they still approximate the material on an infinite plane, which prevents them from correctly handling silhouette and parallax effects for viewing directions close to grazing. The goal of this paper is to design a neural material representation capable of correctly handling such silhouette effects. We extend the neural network query to take surface curvature information as input, while the query output is extended to return a transparency value in addition to reflectance. We train the new neural representation on synthetic data that contains queries spanning a variety of surface curvatures. We show an ability to accurately represent complex silhouette behavior that would traditionally require more expensive and less flexible techniques, such as on-the-fly geometry displacement or ray marching.
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