We present a technique for approximating a light probe image as a constellation of light sources
based on a median cut algorithm. The algorithm is simple to implement, runs efficiently, and can
realistically represent a complex lighting environment with as few as 64 point light sources.
There is an implementation of the Median Cut sampling algorithm as an
HDR Shop 1.0
plugin in Francesco Banterle's Banty's Toolkit beta 1.1
, which produces a simple text file with the light parameters.
The algorithm is also implemented in Jeremy Pronk's Image-Based Lighting Tools package, with support for Maya and Mental Ray.