A Survey of Real-Time Hard Shadow Mapping Methods

Daniel Scherzer, Michael Wimmer, Werner Purgathofer
A Survey of Real-Time Hard Shadow Mapping Methods
In EUROGRAPHICS 2010 State of the Art Reports. 2010.
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Abstract

Due to its versatility, speed and robustness, shadow mapping has always been a popular algorithm for fast hard shadow generation since its introduction in 1978, first for off-line film productions and later increasingly so in real-time graphics.

So it is not surprising that recent years have seen an explosion in the number of shadow map related publications. The last survey that encompassed shadow mapping approaches, but was mainly focused on soft shadow generation, dates back to 2003~cite{HLHS03} and the last survey for general shadow generation dates back to 1990~cite{Woo:1990:SSA}. No survey that describes all the advances made in hard shadow map generation in recent years exists.

On the other hand, shadow mapping is widely used in the game industry, in production, and in many other applications, and it is the basis of many soft shadow algorithms. Due to the abundance of articles on the topic, it has become very hard for practioners and researchers to select a suitable shadow algorithm, and therefore many applications miss out on the latest high-quality shadow generation approaches.

%Real-time research was always tempted to bring global lighting techniques into the real-time domain. One of the most popular adaptations in this respect are hard shadows. It is therefore not surprising that real-time hard shadow generation has been one of the most active areas in research in recent years. But what is surprising is that the last state-of-the-art report that encompassed this field dates back to 1990~cite{Woo:1990:SSA}, were only the beginnings of this field were explored.

The goal of this survey is to rectify this situation by providing a detailed overview of this field. We provide a detailed analysis of shadow mapping errors and derive from this a comprehensive classification of the existing methods. We discuss the most influential algorithms, consider their benefits and shortcomings and thereby provide the reader with the means to choose the shadow algorithm best suited to her needs.

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BibTeX

@inproceedings{scherzer_2010a,
  title =      "A Survey of Real-Time Hard Shadow Mapping Methods",
  author =     "Daniel Scherzer and Michael Wimmer and Werner Purgathofer",
  year =       "2010",
  abstract =   "Due to its versatility, speed and robustness, shadow mapping
               has always been a popular algorithm for fast hard shadow
               generation since its introduction in 1978, first for
               off-line film productions and later increasingly so in
               real-time graphics.  So it is not surprising that recent
               years have seen an explosion in the number of shadow map
               related publications. The last survey that encompassed
               shadow mapping approaches, but was mainly focused on soft
               shadow generation, dates back to 2003~cite{HLHS03} and the
               last survey for general shadow generation dates back to
               1990~cite{Woo:1990:SSA}. No survey that describes all the
               advances made in hard shadow map generation in recent years
               exists.  On the other hand, shadow mapping is widely used in
               the game industry, in production, and in many other
               applications, and it is the basis of many soft shadow
               algorithms. Due to the abundance of articles on the topic,
               it has become very hard for practioners and researchers to
               select a suitable shadow algorithm, and therefore many
               applications miss out on the latest high-quality shadow
               generation approaches.   %Real-time research was always
               tempted to bring global lighting techniques into the
               real-time domain. One of the most popular adaptations in
               this respect are hard shadows. It is therefore not
               surprising that real-time hard shadow generation has been
               one of the most active areas in research in recent years.
               But what is surprising is that the last state-of-the-art
               report that encompassed this field dates back to
               1990~cite{Woo:1990:SSA}, were only the beginnings of this
               field were explored.   The goal of this survey is to rectify
               this situation by providing a detailed overview of this
               field. We provide a detailed analysis of shadow mapping
               errors and derive from this a comprehensive classification
               of the existing methods. We discuss the most influential
               algorithms, consider their benefits and shortcomings and
               thereby provide the reader with the means to choose the
               shadow algorithm best suited to her needs.",
  booktitle =  "EUROGRAPHICS 2010 State of the Art Reports",
  location =   "Norrk{"o}ping, Sweden",
  pages =      "--",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2010/scherzer_2010a/",
}