Research in the field of Photorealism covers both the area of improving quality and accuracy of computer generated images and of accelerating image computation.

Photorealism is defined as the search for image synthesis methods able to generate photographic pictures of a scene that can be indistinguishable from an analogous real scene taken with a photo-camera and printed and observed in the same visual conditions.

We stress that comparison between original and generated image is done using the same medium. Therefore Photorealism can be generalised to Videorealism, where video systems (tv camera, monitor etc.) are used.

To reach a good level of realism it is necessary to:

  • model light-material interaction with photometric parameters;
  • find good approximate models of light-material interaction, and represent the model with photometric parameters;
  • model light sources with accurate photometric parameters

Other aspects are relevant, in particular modelling human visual perception; this topic is also a research subject: see Colour Vision.


The Laboratory has realised the system FOTOSINT, supporting ray tracing and radiosity approach to image synthesis with a high degree of photorealism, based on photometric characterisation of light and material properties.

This research is funded by MURST and CNR.