Phong Splatting

Mario Botsch, Michael Spernat, Leif Kobbelt
Symposium on Point-Based Graphics 2004, 25-32

Surface splatting has developed into a valuable alternative to triangle meshes when it comes to rendering of highly detailed massive datasets. However, even highly accurate splat approximations of the given geometry may sometimes not provide a sufficient rendering quality since surface lighting mostly depends on normal vectors whose deviation is not bounded by the Hausdorff approximation error. Moreover, current point-based rendering systems usually associate a constant normal vector with each splat, leading to rendering results which are comparable to flat or Gouraud shading for polygon meshes. In contrast, we propose to base the lighting of a splat on a linearly varying normal field associated with it, and we show that the resulting Phong Splats provide a visual quality which is far superior to existing approaches. We present a simple and effective way to construct a Phong splat representation for a given set of input samples. Our surface splatting system is implemented completely based on vertex and pixel shaders of current GPUs and achieves a splat rate of up to 4M Phong shaded, filtered, and blended splats per second. In contrast to previous work, our scan conversion is projectively correct per pixel, leading to more accurate visualization and clipping at sharp features.

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