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CSPC 352: Computer Graphics Chapter 6: Lighting and Shading Overview Local and global illumination Phong reflectance model (local illumination) Flat, Gouraud, and Phong Shading on a polygonal mesh Surface subdivisions Shading in OpenGL Perspective

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cspc 352 computer graphics

CSPC 352: Computer Graphics

Chapter 6:




  • Local and global illumination
  • Phong reflectance model (local illumination)
  • Flat, Gouraud, and Phong
  • Shading on a polygonal mesh
  • Surface subdivisions
  • Shading in OpenGL
  • Lighting and shading are accomplished by modeling the world and simulating the laws of physics
  • Short story [Stanislaw Lem, The Cyberiad]: The constructor Trurl creates a tiny simulation of a kingdom in a box to make a deposed, exiled despot happy. Trurl’s friend thinks that is terrible…
  • There are those who say that we exist in the mind of God. What do you think of that idea?
  • Pascal, Pensées: “The arithmetical machine produces effects which come closer to thought than anything which animals can do; but it can do nothing which might lead us to say that it possesses free will, as the animals have.”
need for shading
Need for shading
  • Was it hard to make the 3D flower (first program) look 3D?
  • Shading that is appropriate for the lighting is the primary cue to 3D appearance
  • [What are some other cues?]
illumination models
Illumination models
  • General approach:
    • model the world
    • simulate physics
  • Global illumination models (ray tracing, radiosity) determine shading by bouncing light around an entire environment (too slow for interactive graphics)
  • Local illumination models consider only the surface, light direction, and viewing direction
local illumination
Local illumination
  • To make lighting fast enough, we will initially restrict our attention to:
    • Light source, one surface, and viewer (ignore inter-object reflections, shadows)
    • Ambient, diffuse, and specular reflection (ignore transparency, refraction, reflection, …)
light sources
Light sources
  • In general, a light source is a rather complicated thing. It can emit different amounts of light for each
    • Location (x, y, z)
    • Direction (, f)
    • Wavelength (l)
  • Illumination function:I(x, y, z, , f, l)
  • Examples: ambient, point, area, spot,distant, …
colored lights
Colored lights
  • Intensity of emitted light can also be a function of wavelength
  • We usually model as I = [Ir, Ig, Ib] components
  • Some experiments have been done with a whole spectrum of color values, giving more realistic results in some cases
ambient light
Ambient light
  • Intensity doesn’t vary with x, y, z, , f
  • I = [Iar, Iag, Iab]
point lights
Point lights
  • Point lights have a location (so farther objects receive less light) but are not directional
  • I(p0) = [Ir(p0), Ib(p0), Ig(p0)]
  • How would you compute the illumination at point p?
    • Illumination proportional to inverse square of distance
    • I(p, p0) = (1/d2) [Ir(p0), Ib(p0), Ig(p0)]
limitations of point lights
Limitations of point lights
  • Usually result in artificiallyhigh-contrast images
  • Can generate umbra (full shadow) but notpenumbra (partial shadow)
  • Area lights generate softershadows, but are usuallyused only in raytracing or radiosity
distant directional lights
Distant (directional) lights
  • Light point lights, but
    • Without attenuation based on the distance
    • Without difference in direction (parallel rays)
  • Location of light source becomes [x, y, z, 0]; noattenuation
  • More efficient to computethan point sources
  • Directional, i.e. light is emitted in a narrow range of angles, q
  • More realistic spotlights wouldmodel a gradual fall-off of light
  • E.g. cosef= (s • l)e if s is direction ofsource, l direction to source, both unit vectors
illumination and shading
Illumination and shading
  • How do these light sources affect brightness of a surface point?
  • Most commonly used model for interactive graphics: Phong Illumination Model
  • Involves terms:
    • Ambient
    • Diffuse
    • Specular
  • It is a (simplified) model of the physics of reflection
vectors used by phong model
Vectors used by Phong model
  • The directions used by the phong model
    • n: surface outward normal
    • v: direction to viewer
    • l: direction to light source
    • r: reflection direction
  • Since these are directions, theyare unit vectors.
ambient term of phong model
Ambient term of Phong model
  • An object has an ambient reflectivity coefficient, ka
  • A light source gives off a certain amount of ambient light, La
  • Total ambient illumination: Ia = ka La
  • (For colored light, we repeat this computation for R, G, and B ambient light values and reflectivity coefficients)
diffuse term
Diffuse term
  • A perfectly diffuse reflector is so rough that it scatters light equally in all directions
  • But note that when thelight comes in at an angle,the same energy is spreadout over larger area
  • Such surfaces are calledLambertian surfaces (obeying Lambert’s Law)
diffuse shading
Diffuse shading
  • At noon, illum. is 1
  • As the angle q (u infigure) decreases, illumination goes to zero
  • Illumination is proportional to cos(q) (Lambert’s law)
  • cos(q) = l • n
  • Id = kdl • n Ld
specular term
Specular Term
  • Specular term adds highlights in the reflection direction
  • Note that the smoother and shinier the object, the tigher and brighter thehighlight
  • Highlight power falls as viewer v moves away from reflection dir, r. (cos f = v•r)
  • Modeled as cosaf, a is shininess coefficient (1..200)
  • Is = ks Ls (r•v)a
phong illumination model
Phong illumination model
  • Phong illumination model:

I = Ambient + Diffuse + Specular

= Ia + Id + Is

= ka La + kd Ldl • n + ks Ls (r•v)a

  • May add light attenuation term

1/(a+bd+cd2) ( ka La + kdl • n Ld) + ks Ls (r•v)a

  • Parameters needed:
    • Light: La, Ld, Ls for each light
    • Surface: ka, kd, ks, a
    • Repeat for each color component, light source
  • How hard to calculate?
polygon shading
Polygon shading
  • How do you use the Phong Illumination Model to render an object with shading?
  • Consider a polygonal sphere approximation
    • How do you find the normals to the faces?
    • Shade a face with a constant color?


  • Called flat shading or Constant shading
    • How much computation would this require
      • Per pixel?
      • Per vertex?
flat shading drawbacks
Flat shading drawbacks
  • The human visual system enhances edges
  • We see stripes (known as MachBands) along edges
  • Much like aconvolution!
  • How to avoid?
gouraud shading
Gouraud shading
  • Gouraud shading:
    • Define vertex normals as averageof surrounding faces
    • Compute lighting equation at each vertex
    • Interpolate colors across polygon


  • Computation required
    • Per pixel?
    • Per vertex?
    • Very fast! Especially with reasonably large polygons and hardware color interpolation
gouraud drawbacks
Gouraud drawbacks
  • Drawbacks of Gouraudshading?
    • Polygon edges are still visible
    • Brightness is modelled asa linear function, but that’snot really accurate
    • Real highlights are smalland bright and drop off sharply
    • If polygons are too large, highlights get distorted and dimmed (notice the funny shape)
  • How to avoid these artifacts?
phong shading
Phong shading
  • To eliminate artifacts, interpolate normals
  • Results: better shading, much nicer highlights
  • Computation required per pixel?
  • This is still too expensive to do in hardware, in general
shading summary
Shading summary
  • Don’t confuse Phong Illumination Model and Phong Shading
  • Gouraud shading: compute illumination model at each vertex. Interpolate colors. (Often done in hardware)
  • Phong shading: interpolate vertex normals. Compute illumination model at each vertex
specifying lights in opengl
Specifying lights in OpenGL
  • OpenGL supports those four light types
  • Point, directional lights

GLfloat light0_pos[] = {1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 1.0};

GLfloat light0_pos[] = {1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 0.0};

  • Diffuse, Ambient, Specular coefficients

GLfloat diffuse0[] = {1, 0, 0, 1};

GLfloat ambient0[] = {1, 0, 0, 1};

GLfloat spedular0[] = {1, 1, 1, 1};


enabling lights
Enabling lights
  • Can enable at least 8 lights:


glLightfv(GL_LIGHT0, GL_POSITION, light0_pos);

glLightfv(GL_LIGHT0, GL_AMBIENT, ambient0);

glLightfv(GL_LIGHT0, GL_DIFFUSE, diffuse0);

glLightfv(GL_LIGHT0, GL_SPECULA, specular0);

  • Spotlights: set more light parameters as above
specifying materials
Specifying Materials
  • Material properties are part of the drawing state, specified by glMaterialfv

GLfloat ambient[] = {0.2, 0.2, 0.2, 1.0};

GLfloat diffuse[] = {1.0, 0.8, 0.0, 1.0};

GLfloat specular[] = {1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0};

glMaterialfv(GL_FRONT, GL_AMBIENT, ambient);

glMaterialfv(GL_FRONT, GL_DIFFUSE, diffuse);

glMaterialfv(GL_FRONT, GL_SPECULAR, specular);

glMaterialf(GL_FRONT, GL_SHININESS, 100.0);

GLfloat emission[]={0.0, 0.3, 0.3, 1.0};

glMaterialfv(GL_FRONT, GL_EMISSION, emission);

  • Use GL_FRONT_AND_BACK for two-sided faces
opengl gouraud shading
OpenGL Gouraud Shading
  • OpenGL needs to know vertex normals as well as locations



  • How to compute vertex normals?
    • Cross product for face normals
    • Average normals of surrounding faces
  • How to find neighboring faces?
virtual trackball shading
Virtual Trackball shading
  • Flat shading
    • Compute a normal for each face
  • Gouraud shading
    • Compute a normal for each vertex as average of adjacent faces
    • [Defect: you may not want to smooth-shade across every edge: how should it really be done?]
  • What would you have to do to handle material properties, surface colors, etc?
surface subdivision
Surface subdivision
  • In real modelers…
    • one can usually define smooth curved surfaces
    • Eg spheres, quadrics, NURBS, smoothed polygons
  • Modeler renders with smoothness setting
    • Recursively split polygons into smaller pieces, with new vertices on the smooth surface
    • Splitting a triangle can be done by
      • Bisecting angles
      • Computing the centrum
      • Bisecting sides
    • Of course, smoother surfaces take longer to draw
chapter summary
Chapter summary
  • Phong illumination model has ambient, diffuse, and specular terms
  • It can be used for Flat, Gouraud, and Phong shading
  • OpenGL supports eight ambient, point, distant, and spot lights
  • You must specify light and material properties with many OpenGL function calls
  • Curved surfaces are modeled with polygon subdivisions