SIGGRAPH 2004 - The 31st international conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques
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26. Real-Time Shadowing Techniques
Tuesday, Full Day, 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Petree Hall D
Level: Intermediate

Shadows heighten realism and provide important visual cues about the spatial relationships between objects. But integration of robust shadowing techniques in real-time rendering is not an easy task. In this course on how shadows are incorporated in real-time rendering, attendees learn basic shadowing techniques and more advanced techniques that exploit new features of graphics hardware.

The course begins with shadowing techniques using shadow maps. After an introduction to shadow maps and general improvements of this technique (filtering, depth bias, omnidirectional lights, etc.), the first section describes two methods for reducing sampling artifacts: perspective shadow maps and silhouette maps. Both techniques can significantly improve shadow quality, but they require careful implementation. The first section concludes with a discussion of shadow-mapping extensions that allow soft shadows from linear and area light sources. The second part of the course discusses recent advances in efficient and robust implementation of shadow volumes on graphics hardware and then shows how shadow volumes can be extended to generate accurate soft shadows from area lights. Finally, the course summarizes real-time shadowing from full lighting environments using the technique of precomputed radiance transfer.

The course explains the differences among these algorithms and their strengths and weaknesses. Implementation details, often omitted in technical papers, are provided. And throughout the course, the tradeoffs between quality and performance are illustrated for the different techniques.

Working knowledge of a low-level graphics API such as DirectX or OpenGL. Some knowledge of shadowing algorithms is useful but not required.

Intended Audience
Everyone who is interested in real-time and interactive graphics.

Jan Kautz
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Marc Stamminger
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Tomas Akenine-Moeller
Lund Institute of Technology

Eric Chan
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Wolfgang Heidrich
The University of British Columbia

Jan Kautz
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mark Kilgard
NVIDIA Corporation

Marc Stamminger
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

8:30 Introduction
8:45 Component I: Shadow Maps
Perspective Shadow Maps
10 Silhouette Maps - Part I
10:15 Break
10:30 Silhouette Maps - Part II
10:55 Linear Light Sources
11:35 Smoothies
12:15 Lunch
1:45 Component II: Shadow Volumes
2:45 Soft Shadow Volumes - Part I
3:30 Break
3:45 Soft Shadow Volumes - Part II
4 Component III: Radiance Transfer Shadows
5 Conclusions, Questions and Answers

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Conference 8-12 August, Exhibition 10-12 August.  In Los Angeles, CA