Contributors
EPFL:

Thomas Kiser, Mark Pauly, Yuliy Schwartzburg, Romain Testuz

External:

Philippe Bompas, Michael Eigensatz, Raimund Krenmueller, Minh Man Nguyen, Florian Rist

Press
Contact

For more information, please contact lgg-info@epfl.ch

Caustics


Abstract

Caustics are captivating light patterns created by materials bundling or diverting light by refraction or reflection. We know caustics as random side effects, appearing, for example, at the bottom of a swimming pool. In this work we show that it is possible to control caustic patterns to form almost any desired shape by optimizing the geometry of the reflective or refractive surface generating the caustic. We demonstrate how this surprising result offers a new perspective on light control and the use of caustics as an inspiring design element. Several produced prototypes illustrate that physical realizations of such optimized geometry are feasible.

 

Prototypes

Head Brain
High contrast, freeform boundary
Einstein
High contrast, singularity lines
Turing
Large prototype
Small Turing
Fabrication experiments
Great Wave
Reflective prototype
Olympic Rings
High contrast color caustics
EPFL Logo
High contrast caustics
Dalai Lama
Color caustics
Zebra
Scaling caustics


Presentations and Events


Art installation: sol.id
Rolex Learning Center, EPFL - 2015

Caustic exhibition - Nuit des Musées
Rolex Learning Center, EPFL - 2013

PechaKucha Night
Rolex Learning Center, EPFL - 2013

Glass Performance Days
Finland - 2013

Symposium on Advances in Architectural Geometry
Centre Pompidou, Paris - 2012




Publications


High-contrast Computational Caustic Design

ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proc. of ACM SIGGRAPH 2014)

Webpage


Controlling Caustics

Glass Performance Days 2013

Paper


Architectural Caustics - Controlling Light with Geometry

Advances in Architectural Geometry 2012

Paper Best Paper Award


Caustic Art

EPFL Technical Report 2012

Paper