An Inverse Problem Approach for Automatically Adjusting the Parameters
for Rendering Clouds Using Photographs
ACM Transaction on Graphics (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH Asia 2012), Vol. 31, No. 6, Article 145

Yoshinori Dobashi1, 2,  Wataru Iwasaki1,  Ayumi Ono1Tsuyoshi Yamamoto1Yonghao Yue3Tomoyuki Nishita3
1Hokkaido University,  2JST CREST,  3The University of Tokyo


Clouds play an important role in creating realistic images of outdoor scenes. Many methods have therefore been proposed for displaying realistic clouds. However, the realism of the resulting images depends on many parameters used to render them and it is often difficult to adjust those parameters manually. This paper proposes a method for addressing this problem by solving an inverse rendering problem: given a non-uniform synthetic cloud density distribution, the parameters for rendering the synthetic clouds are estimated using photographs of real clouds. The objective function is defined as the difference between the color histograms of the photograph and the synthetic image. Our method searches for the optimal parameters using genetic algorithms. During the search process, we take into account the multiple scattering of light inside the clouds. The search process is accelerated by precomputing a set of intermediate images. After ten to twenty minutes of precomputation, our method estimates the optimal parameters within a minute.

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    author  = {Yoshinori Dobashi and Wataru Iwasaki and Ayumi Ono and Tsuyoshi Yamamoto and Yonghao Yue and Tomoyuki Nishita},
    title   = {An Inverse Problem Approach for Automatically Adjusting the Parameters for Rendering Clouds Using Photographs},
    journal = {ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH Asia 2012)},
    year    = {2012},
    volume  = {31},
    number  = {6},
    pages   = {Article 145}
This research is supported in part by Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST) Program "Mathematics for Computer Graphics" of Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).