On Floating-Point Normal Vectors

@article{Meyer2010OnFN,
  title={On Floating-Point Normal Vectors},
  author={Quirin Meyer and Jochen S{\"u}{\ss}muth and Gerd Su{\ss}ner and Marc Stamminger and G{\"u}nther Greiner},
  journal={Comput. Graph. Forum},
  year={2010},
  volume={29},
  pages={1405-1409}
}
In this paper we analyze normal vector representations. We derive the error of the most widely used representation, namely 3D floating-point normal vectors. Based on this analysis, we show that, in theory, the discretization error inherent to single precision floating-point normals can be achieved by 250.2 uniformly distributed normals, addressable by 51 bits. We review common sphere parameterizations and show that octahedron normal vectors perform best: they are fast and stable to compute… CONTINUE READING
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