Physically based rendering

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Physically based rendering (PBR) is a subset of computer-generated imagery that aims at production of pictures while making use of physically based shading derived from empirical shading models.


Thanks to high performance and low costs of modern hardware[1] it has become feasible to use PBR not only for industrial but also entertainment purposes wherever photorealistic images are desired including video games and movie making[2]. Since consumer-grade mobile devices such as smartphones are capable of running VR content in real-time, PBR has created a market for easy-to-use programmes for free that define and render content in real-time where sacrifices in visual fidelity are acceptable[3]:

State of the art[edit]

A typical application provides an intuitive graphical user interface that allows artists to define and layer materials with arbitrary properties and to assign them to a given 2D or 3D object to recreate the appearance of any synthetic or organic material. Environments can be defined with procedural shaders or textures as well as procedural geometry or meshes or pointclouds[4]. If possible all changes are made visible in real-time and therefore allow for quick iterations. Sophisticated applications allow savvy users to write custom shaders in a shading language.


  1. ^ Kam, Ken. "How Moore's Law Now Favors Nvidia Over Intel". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  2. ^ "Physically Based Rendering: From Theory to Implementation". Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  3. ^ "Physically Based Shading on Moblie". Unreal Engine. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  4. ^ "Point Clouds". Sketchfab Help Center. Retrieved 2018-05-29.