An Open Source Framework for Photo-Realistic
Rendering of Synthetic Elements in Captured Panoramas


Everyone loves panoramas. Now, how to make use of them to render elements on top of an existent scene? Lightprobe? Reflection map? Background plate? Right and wrong. In its classic implementation, a fullpanorama (360°x180°) brings no spatial information of the captured scene. Therefore, its use is limited as a directional map in the rendering stage, and as such it presents serious limitations.

In this project we present a new spatial representation called light-depth maps, which is basically an HDR panorama with the depth of the captured environment. This method is perfect also to render panoramas, a hot topic in today’s entertainment industry.

We will talk about the advantages of this method, how to construct these light-depth panoramas, and how they are used in a one-pass rendering solution developed in a branch of Luxrender.

This project is a part of an ongoing research from the Vision and Graphics Laboratory in the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics (IMPA) in Brazil. The present goal is to streamline a framework to render synthetic elements in a captured environment.

The entire pipeline was developed with open tools, with Blender playing an important role in the production process.


Dalai Felinto, who is currently living in Vancouver, Canada, is natural from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has been using Blender since the beginning of his graduate study in Architecture and Urban Studies back in 2003. His participation in the Blender Community includes a few papers, workshops and talks presented at events such as the BlenderPRO, BlenderDay and GNUGRAF in Brazil, Che Blender in Argentina, Blender Conference in Amsterdam and Blender Workshop in Canada. He contributes with patches and code to Blender since its version 2.47.

E-mail: d.felinto [@]

Aldo Zang is a Computer Graphics Ph.D. student at the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics (IMPA) and a member of the Vision and Graphics Laboratory. He obtained his M.Sc. degree in Mathematics (with emphasis in Computer Graphics) from IMPA in 2009 and a Licence Degree in Mathematics from the National University of Misiones (UNaM) in 2003. His advisor is Professor Luiz Velho and his research interests include Photorealistic Rendering, Lighting capture and rendering, Image Processing, Geometric Processing, BRDFs capture and modeling.

E-mail: zang [@]

Luiz Velho is a Full Researcher/Professor at IMPA - Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics, and the leading scientist of VISGRAF Laboratory. He received a BE in Industrial Design from ESDI / UERJ in 1979, a MS in Computer Graphics from the MIT / Media Lab in 1985, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1994 from the University of Toronto under the Graphics and Vision groups.

E-mail: lvelho [@]


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