Eric Levicky

Host Teams: Jim Wetzel, Dr Tom Masaryk, and Dr David Piraino


Final Project

I would like to research photon mapping because when Jason Dengler brought up this idea and then showed his example of ray tracing I wanted to see an example of photon mapping. The reason I want to do a research paper on photon mapping is because I do not know nearly enough to write an example of a photon mapper. Doing the research to write the paper will give me enough of a background to do a section on code exploration. Hopefully I will be able to develop a small example of a photon mapper by the end of the semester.


Milestone 1: Have 5 resources to use and an outline of the paper written up.

Works Cited: Levicky-Works-Cited
Outline: Levicky-Outline
Email back from Jason Dengler: Levicky-Dengler-Email
To be completed by April 4, 2011
Status: Both the works cited and outline are complete.

DWP Response: Outline is nicely done, well organized and detailed - Looking forward to reading the paper.

Milestone 2: Have a rough draft of the paper written.

Rough Draft: Levicky-Rough-Draft
To be completed by April 11, 2011
Status: Complete

Milestone 3: Edit the paper to final draft state and begin the code exploration.

Final Draft: Levicky-Final-Draft
To be completed by April 18, 2011
Status: Complete

Milestone 4: Continue code exploration.

See Bottom of Page: Levicky-Final-Draft
To be completed by April 25, 2011
Status: Complete

Lot's of good work in evidence here. Nice job. Particularly in keeping up with your updates and progress reports.

Some Observations and things to address:
1.) I could not see much significant difference between the rough draft and the final draft - did the link to the rough draft get overwritten somehow?

EL: I did a lot of the edits in the rough draft tab. I didn't think to not do that until many edits had already been made.
EL: All current changes are being made to the final draft. (May 3, 2011).

2.) When I compared your final draft to the original outline, there are some important pieces missing. My overall feeling on the final draft was that it needed some re-organization. I went back to the original outline to see if my thoughts had changed. I discovered that the organization level in the outline is exactly what I was thinking that the final draft was missing. As an exercise, add the headings and sub-headings from your outline to your final draft, see if you discover points that were missed or glossed over. I have provided a list of 5 examples of items from the paper that need improving.

EL: I will go over the paper again to look for this.
EL: Edits continue to organize and fit the outline. (May 3, 2011).
EL: Headings and Subheadings have been provided. (May 5, 2011).

3.) Introduction to Photon Mapping - It feels like we're diving into the middle of the discussion here. I don't get a great sense of the difference between PM and RT here. This should be paramount.

EL: I will make changes to make this more paramount.
EL: Paramount-ing complete. (May 3, 2011)

4.) Specifically, the statement "This all takes a lot of computing, which means that if it is all done properly it is wrong." needs a clearer explanation. But in general, the Photon Scattering section should be organized differently. There are three terms described within (Absorption, Reflection, Refraction). Instead of Introducing all three in one paragraph and then describing all three in a second paragraph. Perhaps address each concept fully before going onto the next one. (As the outline suggests)

EL: I will work on this.
EL: That paragraph is explained thoroughly now. But more has to be done with Absorption, Reflection, and Refraction (May 3, 2011).
EL: Absorption, Reflection, and Refraction divided into own sections (May 5, 2011).

5.) Z-buffering and environment mapping are beside the point of photon mapping. It'd be like writing a paper on object oriented programming and having a paragraph in the beginning about binary numbers. Yes, they are loosely connected, but not worth the paper real-estate in this context. The *only* technique you should mention in this paper other than photon mapping is ray tracing.

EL: All methods of global illumination besides ray tracing and photon mapping are removed from the paper (May 3, 2011).

6.) I don't care about the drawbacks of Photon Mapping as Andrew Cantino sees them, I care about them as Eric Levicky sees them. Read Cantino's take, form your own opinion, and describe it to me in your words. Reference him in the bibliography. If I care where he went to school, I can look it up there. This even more true of dumping his code into the middle of your paper. Either add your commentary, describing the code and incorporating it into your paper, or leave it out. The way it currently stands, I can't even tell if you understands how the code works or care if the reader does. Seriously, you make no comment about the code other than "here it is". Incorporate it or cut it - don't leave the editing up to your reader.

EL: Cut. (May 3, 2011).
EL: I wrote the remaining code (May 5, 2011).

7.) You use the term "caustics" at least twice in the paper without defining it. In general, I would argue that you rely on your reader having a significant background in this field to be able to understand your paper. Decide who your target reader is, identify what their background is, and have your paper's "voice" talk to that person.

EL: I thought I had defined caustics, I will make this change.
EL: It was defined in the first paragraph under benefits, but I did make it more apparent. It is also explained below the causticsexample.jpg image. (May 3, 2011).

I have been critical and detailed in some of those criticisms in your paper. I think that you can address most of them with a reasonable amount of effort. It will make a significant difference in the quality of the final results.

EL: I will incorporate these changes before Thursday.

Milestore 5: Deliver project to Palmer.

To be completed by May 5, 2011
Status: Complete

DWP: Check my comments above, I think another pass over the paper would be a worthwhile endeavor.