Information about the Project


Realistic lighting simulation is an important emerging technology with many applications. By simulating shadows and secondary lighting effects the quality of virtual reality and design systems based on computer graphics is greatly enhanced. Products using realistic lighting simulation (based on the so-called "radiosity" method) have only recently begun to appear, most notably in architecture and broadcasting. The use of this technology is currently limited mainly by the inability of current systems to treat realistic models and also the difficulty of their use (which usually requires technical knowledge and experience). As a result, only highly-trained experts are currently capable of using realistic lighting simulation techniques. The great potential of realistic synthetic imagery lies in the creation of "digital mock-ups", which have direct applications in many domains: industrial and lighting design, building and public works industry, as well as many other sectors in which applications are currently emerging. The goal of this project is to overcome the current limitations of realistic lighting simulation systems, thus opening the way to widespread usage of realistic digital mock- ups.


Components of a robust and usable lighting simulation system will be developed, addressing:

  1. Data acquisition and processing: tools will be provided to allow the use of unmodified end-user data bases as well as support for application-dependent output and results (Work Package 1).
  2. Treatment of complex models, allowing efficient lighting simulation of very large scenes (Work Package 2).
  3. Automatic control of the simulation eliminating the need for expert parameter selection (Work Package 3).
  4. Interactive manipulation of changing environments for which lighting is simulated (Work Package 4).


The development of a practical computer graphics lighting system will allow the use of realistic lighting simulation with digital mock-ups in a wide range of applications such as architecture, design, broadcasting, etc. Large-scale savings will result, first by shortening the development cycle in all domains of design using realistically lit digital mock-ups, and in the architectural field by allowing more energy-efficient designs thanks to the effective use of lighting simulation.


New Products: the technology developed in ARCADE will be incorporated into a working prototype, and from there potentially integrated into the industrial partner¹s system.

Dissemination: the methods and techniques developed will be made public through scientific and research publications as well as at trade fairs (e.g., Computer Graphics Expo, CeBIT). A web site containing information, technical reports and demonstrations will be made available.