“Efficient Real-Time Shadows” by Eisemann, Assarsson, Schwarz, Valient and Kasyan

  • ©Elmar Eisemann, Ulf Assarsson, Michael Schwarz, Michal Valient, and Nickolay Kasyan


Entry Number: 18


    Efficient Real-Time Shadows

Course Organizer(s):



    What is this course about?
    This course is a resource for efficient real-time shadow algorithms. It gives an overview of various techniques and addresses practical and game-relevant  solutions. Besides conventional topics, such as hard or soft shadows, we also address recent practically-relevant topics, e.g., volumetric shadows.

    We will provide the theoretical background but also discuss details on implementation issues in order to facilitate efficient realizations. These elements are of relevance to experts but also to practitioners, as they support the general understanding and provide interesting views. A particular focus will be put on budget considerations and the analysis of existing performance trade-offs;  physical accuracy can sometimes be replaced by plausible shadows, and we will describe scenarios in which approximate methods are likely to work or fail. In particular, we will present  showcases that illustrate the techniques behind major game titles and upcoming engines.

    Who should participate?
     The course will be useful for many different fields, ranging from  the game industry (as an overview and guide) over the movie industry (as a resource for pre-visualization techniques) to other branches, such as the visualization community (shadows have  a strong impact on spatial perception). It will allow its participants to gain insight into several methods that find application in high-performance simulations and to receive practical advice.

    Where can I get more information?
    The course builds upon a solid foundation in form of previous courses, as well as the recent book “Real-time Shadows” [Eisemann et al., 2011] (A K Peters/CRC Press) that appeared in 2011 and was written by four of the presenters. The book is a compendium of many topics in the realm of shadow computation on 400 pages. Furthermore, the course features one contributor from the industry, who has a strong background in shadow techniques and was a lead for several AAA titles.

    Please also visit our webpage that offers additional information on shadow algorithms:  http://www.realtimeshadows.com/