In the past, ray tracing was mocked as practical only if you want to draw glass spheres on infinite checkerboards.
Given all the advances in global illumination over the last few decades, what is the state of the art in general-purpose global illumination algorithms that can draw a glass sphere on an infinite (or very large) diffuse checkerboard lit by a directional light?
Some things to consider:
* Unlike the ray tracers of old, there should be visible refracted caustics.
* For PPM-type algorithms, what's r0, and how do you generate the photons?
Practical and theoretical implementation discussion.
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