Global Illumination Compendium
The Concise Guide to Global Illumination Algorithms

Albrecht Duerer, Underweysung der Messung mit dem Zirkel und Richtscheyt (Nurenberg, 1525), Book 3, figure 67.

Update: August 29, 2003
There is finally an update for the GI Compendium. The publishing of the book Advanced Global Illumination has taken most of my time during the past 18 months, so that's why the Compendium was not updated as frequently as it should. Expect more updates on a more regular basis from now on!

This page contains the Global Illumination Compendium, an effort to bring together most of the useful formulas and equations for global illumination algorithms in computer graphics. I first distributed early versions of this document in 1999 when I was a post-doc at the Program of Computer Graphics at Cornell University.

This collection of formulas and equations is supposed to be useful for anyone who is active in the field of global illumination in computer graphics. I started this document as a helpful tool to my own research, since I was growing tired of having to look up equations and formulas in various books and papers. As a consequence, many concepts which are ‘trivial’ to me are not in the Compendium, unless someone specifically asked for them. Therefore, any further input and suggestions for more useful content are strongly appreciated.

Philip Dutré (

Contents of this page


Questions and Answers

Some Useful Global Illumination Links

Most Recent Version: September 29, 2003,

68 pages, 121 items!

Updates since August 29, 2001
Questions & Answers

Some Useful Global Illumination Links


Literature Software

This document is maintained by Philip Dutré