T-SAH: Animation Optimized Bounding Volume Hierarchies

We propose a method for creating a bounding volume hierarchy (BVH) that is optimized for all frames of a given animated scene. The method is based on a novel extension of surface area heuristic to temporal domain (T-SAH). We perform iterative BVH optimization using T-SAH and create a single BVH accounting for scene geometry distribution at different frames of the animation. Having a single optimized BVH for the whole animation makes our method extremely easy to integrate to any application using BVHs, limiting the per-frame overhead only to refitting the bounding volumes.We evaluated the T-SAH optimized BVHs in the scope of real-time GPU ray tracing. We demonstrate, that our method can handle even highly complex inputs with large deformations and significant topology changes. The results show, that in a vast majority of tested scenes our method provides significantly better run-time performance than traditional SAH and also better performance than GPU based per-frame BVH rebuild.

Computer Graphics Forum (Proceedings of Eurographics 2015) 34(2):527-536, 2015.

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