Conference article

Assisted Environment Map Probe Placement

M. G. Chajdas
Technische Universität München, Germany

A. Weis
Technische Universität München, Germany

R. Westermann
Technische Universität München, Germany

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Published in: Proceedings of SIGRAD 2011. Evaluations of Graphics and Visualization — Efficiency; Usefulness; Accessibility; Usability; November 17-18; 2011; KTH; Stockholm; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 65:4, p. 17-25

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Published: 2011-11-21

ISBN: 978-91-7393-008-6

ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


Placing probes for environment maps is a tedious and time-consuming task for current game developers. In particular; locating the significant places for reflection requires the artists to manually scan through a whole game level. Even then; probes may wind up being too similar and have to be cleaned up manually later on. Furthermore; the whole process needs to be repeated when the content changes.

We propose a novel algorithm which assists the artist when placing environment map probes. Based on the original game content; we produce a set of candidate locations for inspection by an artist. By setting a few parameters like sampling density and aggressiveness of probe elimination; the overall number of generated sample probes can be easily adjusted. All of this requires only a short pre-process which can be done using the available in-game renderer. From the generated sample set; the artist can decide which locations are important; add or remove probes manually and adjust the placement to account for supplemental; content-specific parameters. Our initial probe placement; together with additional information computed by our algorithm; allows the artist to place probes more efficiently. Early user testing indicates that the total time can be reduced by up to half a day for a single game level.


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