Light transport theory
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
Light transport theory deals with the mathematics behind calculating the energy transfers between media that affect visibility. This article is currently specific to light transport in rendering processes such as global illumination and HDRI.
The amount of light transported is measured by flux density, that is flux per unit area. See this link here for a PDF explaining A Theory of Inverse Light Transport.
Given a surface S, a hemisphere H can be projected on to S to calculate the amount of incoming and outgoing light . If a point P is selected at random on the surface S, the amount of light incoming and outgoing can be calculated by its projection onto the hemisphere.
The hemicube model works in a similar way that the hemisphere model works, with the exception that a hemicube is projected as opposed to a hemisphere. The similarity is only in concept, the actual calculation done by integration has a different form factor.
Rendering converts a model into an image either by simulating light transport to get physically based photorealistic images, or by applying some kind of style as in non-photorealistic rendering. The two basic operations in realistic rendering are transport (how much light gets from one place to another) and scattering (how surfaces interact with light).