A3T3 Bounding Volume Hierarchy

In this task you will implement a bounding volume hierarchy that accelerates ray-scene intersection. Most of this work will be in src/pathtracer/bvh.cpp. Note that this code is defining a template, which usually are defined in header files because they must be visible to the compiler when instantiated. However, the template class BVH<Triagnle>; and similar lines at the bottom of the file take care of instantiating the template at all the relevant types.

First, take a look at the definition for our BVH in src/pathtracer/bvh.h. We represent our BVH as nodes (a vector of Nodes) as an implicit tree data structure in the same fashion as heaps that you probably have seen in some other courses. A Node has the following fields:

The BVH class also maintains a vector of all primitives in the BVH. The fields start and size in the BVH Node refer to the range of contained primitives in this array. The primitives in this array are not initially in any particular order, and you will need to rearrange the order as you build the BVH so that your BVH can accurately represent the spacial hierarchy.

The starter code constructs a valid BVH, but it is a trivial BVH with a single node containing all scene primitives. Once you are done with this task, you can check the box for BVH in the left bar under "Visualize" when you start render to visualize your BVH and see each level.

Finally, note that the BVH visualizer will start drawing from BVH::root_idx, so be sure to set this to the proper index (probably 0 or nodes.size() - 1, depending on your implementation) when you build the BVH.

Step 0: Bounding Box Calculation & Intersection

Implement BBox::hit in src/lib/bbox.h and Triangle::bbox in src/pathtracer/tri_mesh.cpp (if you haven't already from Task 2).

We recommend checking out this Scratchapixel article for implementing bounding box intersections.

Step 1: BVH Construction

Your job is to construct a BVH in void BVH<Primitive>::build in src/pathtracer/bvh.cpp using the Surface Area Heuristic discussed in class. Tree construction will occur when the BVH object is constructed. Below is the pseudocode from class by which your BVH construction procedure should generally follow:

If you find it easier to think of looping over partitions rather than buckets, here is another outline of pseudocode that you may use:


Step 2: Ray-BVH Intersection

Implement the ray-BVH intersection routine Trace BVH<Primitive>::hit(const Ray& ray) in src/pathtracer/bvh.cpp. You may wish to consider the node visit order optimizations we discussed in class. Once complete, your renderer should be able to render all of the test scenes in a reasonable amount of time. Below is the pseudocode that we went over in class:


Reference Results

In Render mode, check the box for "BVH" and then render your image. You should be able to see the BVH you generated in task 3 once it starts rendering. You can click on the horizontal bar to see each level of your BVH.

The BVH constructed for Spot the Cow on the 10th level.

The BVH constructed for a scene composed of several cubes and spheres on the 0th and 1st levels.

The BVH constructed for the Stanford Bunny on the 10th level.

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