Image-free computer graphics

Eugene d’Eon, one of the most influential and prolific authors in subsurface light transport research states an indeed very interesting and thought-provoking thought in his review of the Photon Beam Diffusion paper:

“It seems unclear to me that graphics papers like this one need images anymore. Carefully presented plots do much more to convince the reader of the accuracy of the proposed transport theory approximations. Showing selected results where a half-space searchlight solution is applied approximately to curved geometry, while pretty, does little to convince the reader of the method’s overall robustness.”

Just keep it nice and mathematical: if you have the plots of the convolution kernel you are using for rendering images, that is basically all you need to show – for rendered images, one can find an angle and a lighting setup where any possible algorithm can come out on top. If we wish to call computer graphics research scientific, it is definitely an argument that I find worthy of some discussion.