Prefiltered Environment Maps On Glossy Materials

For Phong BRDF materials, we can do convolution on each environment map texel over its surrounding texels covered by a designated specular lobe. We can store different prefiltered environment maps corresponding to different specular powers in a mipmap chain. Mipmap level 0 contains the envmap w.r.t. highest specular power, mipmap level 1 contains the envmap w.r.t. 2nd highest specular power, and so forth.

Again we can use cubemapgen to help us generate this multilevel cubemap texture.

In a GLSL shader, we use reflective vector to sample the environment map, as opposed to the use of normal vector in irradiance maps for Lambertian surfaces. There are different ways to derive the desired mipmap level, based on how the mipmap chain is generated. For instance, cubemapgen offers a method by which you specify the maximum specular power (mipmap level 0), and the decreasing ratio for the subsequent mipmap levels. Then, the desired mipmap level could be derived using a statement like the following:

 float mipmapLevel = log( materialSpecular/ MAX_SPECULAR_POWER) / log(POWER_DEC_RATIO); 

Then we can sample the texture using texturLod, which allows us to specify the desired mipmap level.

To enable smooth transition, we also have to enable linear filtering between mipmap levels for this cubemap texture.

The following screenshots are my rendering results after adding Phong specular contribution to the final shading.

Specular power 10:


Specular power 60:



1. Jan Kautz, Pere-Pau Vázquez, Wolfgang Heidrich, and Hans-Peter Seidel. 2000. Unified Approach to Prefiltered Environment Maps. In Proceedings of the Eurographics Workshop on Rendering Techniques 2000


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s