“Efficient image-based methods for rendering soft shadows” by Agrawala, Ramamoorthi, Heirich and Moll

  • ©Maneesh Agrawala, Ravi Ramamoorthi, Alan Heirich, and Laurent Moll




    Efficient image-based methods for rendering soft shadows



    We present two efficient imaged-based approaches for computation and display of high-quality soft shadows from area light sources. Our methods are related to shadow maps and provide the associated benefits. The computation time and memory requirements for adding soft shadows to an image depend on image size and the number of lights, not geometric scene complexity. We also show that because area light sources are localized in space, soft shadow computations are particularly well suited to imaged-based rendering techniques. Our first approach—layered attenuation maps—achieves interactive rendering rates, but limits sampling flexibility, while our second method—coherence-based raytracing of depth images—is not interactive, but removes the limitations on sampling and yields high quality images at a fraction of the cost of conventional raytracers. Combining the two algorithms allows for rapid previewing followed by efficient high-quality rendering.


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