Two-level BVHs: We build a two-level BVH for the Catmull-Clark subdivision mesh given a user-specified error tolerance. The upper part is a common AABB BVH constructed from patches of the control mesh, while each lower TSS BVH with TSS bounding volumes is constructed on demand in a top-down method.
We present a novel, compact bounding volume hierarchy, TSS BVH, for ray tracing subdivision surfaces computed by the Catmull-Clark scheme. We use Tetrahedron Swept Sphere (TSS) as a bounding volume to tightly bound limit surfaces of such subdivision surfaces given a user tolerance. Geometric coordinates defining our TSS bounding volumes are implicitly computed from the subdivided mesh via a simple vertex ordering method, and each level of our TSS BVH is associated with a single distance bound, utilizing the Catmull-Clark scheme. These features result in a linear space complexity as a function of the tree depth, while many prior BVHs have exponential space complexity. We have tested our method against different benchmarks with path tracing and photon mapping. We found that our method achieves up to two orders of magnitude of memory reduction with a high culling ratio over the prior AABB BVH methods, when we represent models with two to four subdivision levels. Overall, our method achieves three times performance improvement thanks to these results. These results are acquired by our theorem that rigorously computes our TSS bounding volumes.