3D Graphics-oriented Spherical Harmonics Library
Spherical harmonics can be a tricky thing to wrap your head around. Even once the basic theories are understood, there's some surprisingly finicky implementation work to get the functions coded properly. This is especially true when it comes to rotations of spherical harmonics (much of the literature is math-dense and contains errata). Additionally, different literature sources use slightly different conventions when defining the basis functions.
This library is a collection of useful functions for working with spherical harmonics. It is not restricted to a maximum order of basis function, using recursive definitions for both the SH basis functions and SH rotation matrices. This library uses the convention of including the Condon-Shortely phase function ((-1)^m) in the definition of the basis function.
This is not an official Google project.
This library depends on Eigen3 to for its
underlying linear algebra primitives. Colors are represented as
Eigen::Array3f, where the components are ordered red, green, and blue.
Google Test is used for unit
The Bazel build tool is used to build the library. This is responsible for downloading and configuring Eigen3 and the testing framework. You may build the library by executing in the root directory:
bazel build //sh:spherical_harmonics
See documentation in
sh/spherical_harmonics.h for details on specific
sh/image.h provides a very generic and simple image interface
that can be used to adapt this library with any actual imaging toolkit
already in use.
Core SH Functions
EvalSH - Evaluate the SH basis function of the given degree and order
at the provided position on a unit sphere. The position is described as
either a unit vector or as spherical coordinates.
EvalSHSum - Evaluate the approximation of a spherical function that
has already been converted to a vector of basis function coefficients.
Used to estimate coefficients applied to basis functions to approximate
complex spherical functions as a weighted sum of the spherical harmonic
basis functions. Once projected, the returned coefficients can be
ProjectFunction - Project an analytic spherical function into every
basis function up to the specified order. This uses Monte Carlo
integration to estimate the coefficient for each basis function.
ProjectEnvironment - Project an environment map image arranged in
a latitude-longitude projection into the basis functions up to the
specified order. This is a specialization of
is more efficient when the spherical function is described as an
image containing an environment.
ProjectSparseSamples - Project a spherical function that has only
been sparsely evaluated (i.e. 10-50 times). Unlike the analytic
function, this uses a least-squares fitting to best estimate the
coefficients for each basis function. This works well when fitting
to photographic data where there can only be so many photos captured.
Diffuse Irradiance Functions
Diffuse irradiance can be efficiently represented in low-order spherical harmonics. It can be computed quickly by estimating the standard diffuse cosine-lobe as a vector of coefficients, and the environment as spherical harmonics. Diffuse irradiance is simply the dot product of the two coefficient vectors.
RenderDiffuseIrradiance - Compute diffuse irradiance for a given
unit normal vector and SH coefficients that describe the environment
illumination (i.e. from
RenderDiffuseIrradianceMap - Compute diffuse irradiance for every
normal vector described by the texels of the provided latitude-longitude
image. This can be useful for computing a texture map of diffuse
irradiance and then transferring it to the GPU for shader-based rendering.
Spherical Harmonic Rotations
If a complex spherical function is rotated, and a set of spherical
harmonic coefficients is needed for this new function, it's possible
to rotate the spherical harmonic coefficients of the original approximation
rather than re-projecting the rotated function. This is often much more
efficient and is used in
RenderDiffuseIrradiance to transform the cosine
lobe function for the unit z-axis to any other normal vector.
Rotation - Object type that computes the transformation matrices that
suitably transform spherical harmonic coefficients given a quaternion
GetCoefficientCount - Return the total number of coefficients needed to
represent all basis functions up to a given order.
GetIndex - Return a 1-dimensional index (suitable for accessing the returned
vectors from all the project functions) given a degree and order.
ToVector - Transform spherical coordinates into a unit vector.
ToSphericalCoords - Transform a unit vector into spherical coordinates.
ImageXToPhi - Transform a pixel's x coordinate in an image of a specific width
to the phi spherical coordinate.
ImageYToTheta - Transform a pixel's y coordinate in an image of a specific height
to the theta spherical coordinate.
ToImageCoords - Transform spherical coordinates into floating-point image coordinates
given particular image dimensions. The coordinates can be used to bilinearly
interpolate an environment map, or cast to integers to access direct pixels.
Literature The general spherical harmonic functions and fitting methods are from , the environment map related functions are based on methods in  and , and spherical harmonic rotations are from  and :
- R. Green, "Spherical Harmonic Lighting: The Gritty Details", GDC 2003, http://www.research.scea.com/gdc2003/spherical-harmonic-lighting.pdf
- R. Ramamoorthi and P. Hanrahan, "An Efficient Representation for Irradiance Environment Maps",. , P., SIGGRAPH 2001, 497-500
- R. Ramamoorthi and P. Hanrahan, “On the Relationship between Radiance and Irradiance: Determining the Illumination from Images of a Convex Lambertian Object,” J. Optical Soc. Am. A, vol. 18, no. 10, pp. 2448-2459, 2001.
- J. Ivanic and K. Ruedenberg, "Rotation Matrices for Real Spherical Harmonics. Direct Determination by Recursion", J. Phys. Chem., vol. 100, no. 15, pp. 6342-6347, 1996. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/jp953350u
- Corrections to : http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/jp9833350