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Learning to Cluster for Rendering with Many Lights

Abstract

We present an unbiased online Monte Carlo method for rendering with many lights. Our method adapts both the hierarchical light clustering and the sampling distribution to our collected samples. Designing such a method requires us to make clustering decisions under noisy observation, and mak- ing sure that the sampling distribution adapts to our target. Our method is based on two key ideas: a coarse-to-fine clustering scheme that can find good clustering configurations even with noisy samples, and a discrete stochastic successive approximation method that starts from a prior distribution and provably converges to a target distribution. We compare to other state-of- the-art light sampling methods, and show better results both numerically and visually.

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