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Shadow mapping

This depth map is often stored as a texture in graphics memory. This depth map must be updated any time there are changes to either the light or the objects in the scene, but can be reused in other situations, such as those where only the viewing camera moves.


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If there are multiple lights, a separate depth map must be used for each light. In many implementations it is practical to render only a subset of the objects in the scene to the shadow map in order to save some of the time it takes to redraw the map. Also, a depth offset which shifts the objects away from the light may be applied to the shadow map rendering in an attempt to resolve stitching problems where the depth map value is close to the depth of a surface being drawn i.

A Shadow Repair Approach for Kinect Depth Maps | SpringerLink

Alternatively, culling front faces and only rendering the back of objects to the shadow map is sometimes used for a similar result. The second step is to draw the scene from the usual camera viewpoint, applying the shadow map. This process has three major components, the first is to find the coordinates of the object as seen from the light, the second is the test which compares that coordinate against the depth map, and finally, once accomplished, the object must be drawn either in shadow or in light. In order to test a point against the depth map, its position in the scene coordinates must be transformed into the equivalent position as seen by the light.

This is accomplished by a matrix multiplication.

Shadow Mapping

The location of the object on the screen is determined by the usual coordinate transformation , but a second set of coordinates must be generated to locate the object in light space. The matrix used to transform the world coordinates into the light's viewing coordinates is the same as the one used to render the shadow map in the first step under OpenGL this is the product of the modelview and projection matrices. This scaling can be done before the perspective division, and is easily folded into the previous transformation calculation by multiplying that matrix with the following:.

If done with a shader , or other graphics hardware extension, this transformation is usually applied at the vertex level, and the generated value is interpolated between other vertices, and passed to the fragment level. Once the light-space coordinates are found, the x and y values usually correspond to a location in the depth map texture, and the z value corresponds to its associated depth, which can now be tested against the depth map.

If the z value is greater than the value stored in the depth map at the appropriate x , y location, the object is considered to be behind an occluding object, and should be marked as a failure , to be drawn in shadow by the drawing process. Otherwise it should be drawn lit. If the x , y location falls outside the depth map, the programmer must either decide that the surface should be lit or shadowed by default usually lit.

In a shader implementation, this test would be done at the fragment level. For a polygonal model, the volume is usually formed by classifying each face in the model as either facing toward the light source or facing away from the light source. The set of all edges that connect a toward-face to an away-face form the silhouette with respect to the light source. The edges forming the silhouette are extruded away from the light to construct the faces of the shadow volume.

This volume must extend over the range of the entire visible scene; often the dimensions of the shadow volume are extended to infinity to accomplish this see optimization below. To form a closed volume, the front and back end of this extrusion must be covered. These coverings are called "caps". Depending on the method used for the shadow volume, the front end may be covered by the object itself, and the rear end may sometimes be omitted see depth pass below. There is also a problem with the shadow where the faces along the silhouette edge are relatively shallow.

In this case, the shadow an object casts on itself will be sharp, revealing its polygonal facets, whereas the usual lighting model will have a gradual change in the lighting along the facet.

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This leaves a rough shadow artifact near the silhouette edge which is difficult to correct. Increasing the polygonal density will minimize the problem, but not eliminate it. If the front of the shadow volume is capped, the entire shadow volume may be offset slightly away from the light to remove any shadow self-intersections within the offset distance of the silhouette edge this solution is more commonly used in shadow mapping. After Crow, in Tim Heidmann showed how to use the stencil buffer to render shadows with shadow volumes quickly enough for use in real time applications.

There are three common variations to this technique, depth pass , depth fail , and exclusive-or , but all of them use the same process:. The difference between these three methods occurs in the generation of the mask in the second step. Some involve two passes, and some only one; some require less precision in the stencil buffer. Shadow volumes tend to cover large portions of the visible scene, and as a result consume valuable rasterization time fill time on 3D graphics hardware.

This problem is compounded by the complexity of the shadow casting objects, as each object can cast its own shadow volume of any potential size onscreen. See optimization below for a discussion of techniques used to combat the fill time problem. Heidmann proposed that if the front surfaces and back surfaces of the shadows were rendered in separate passes, the number of front faces and back faces in front of an object can be counted using the stencil buffer.


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If an object's surface is in shadow, there will be more front facing shadow surfaces between it and the eye than back facing shadow surfaces. Oversize charges may apply.

Modifying shadow depth pass

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The depth map

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In-Depth with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice ► Gamescom 2018