From movies to video games, computer-rendered images are pervasive today. Physically Based Rendering introduces the concepts and theory of photorealistic rendering hand in hand with the source code for a sophisticated renderer.
This book has deservedly won an Academy Award. I believe it should also be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize — Donald Knuth
The fourth edition is now available.
The full contents of the third edition are now freely available online.
Physically based rendering has transformed computer graphics lighting by more accurately simulating materials and lights, allowing digital artists to focus on cinematography rather than the intricacies of rendering. First published in 2004, Physically Based Rendering is both a textbook and a complete source-code implementation that has provided a widely adopted practical roadmap for most physically based shading and lighting systems used in film production.
(Don't miss Kristen Bell and Michael B. Jordan's tribute to physically based rendering.)
Physically Based Rendering, Fourth Edition describes both the mathematical theory behind a modern photorealistic rendering system as well as its practical implementation. A method known as “literate programming” combines human-readable documentation and source code into a single reference that is specifically designed to aid comprehension. Through the ideas and software in this book, you will learn to design and employ a full-featured rendering system for creating stunning imagery.
This new edition greatly refines its best-selling predecessors with a new chapter on GPU ray tracing; comprehensive coverage of the latest developments in volumetric light transport; new sections on spectral rendering; many improvements to the Monte Carlo sampling algorithms; a new bilinear patch primitive; thoroughly updated coverage of reflection models, including an improved representation for measured BRDFs; and much more. These updates reflect the current state-of-the-art technology, and along with the lucid pairing of text and code, ensure the book's leading position as a reference text for those working in rendering.
The author team of Matt Pharr, Greg Humphreys, and Pat Hanrahan garnered a 2014 Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences based on the knowledge shared in the first and second editions of the book this book. The Academy called the book a “widely adopted practical roadmap for most physically based shading and lighting systems used in film production.”
For a preview, you can download Chapter 4, Primitives and Intersection Acceleration from the second edition, or Chapter 11, Volume Scattering and Chapter 14, Light Transport II: Volume Rendering from the fourth edition.