“GPU-Based Lighting and Shadowing of Complex Natural Scenes” by Cohen, Decaudin and Neyret

  • ©Florent Cohen, Philippe Decaudin, and Fabrice Neyret

  • ©Florent Cohen, Philippe Decaudin, and Fabrice Neyret



Entry Number: 091


    GPU-Based Lighting and Shadowing of Complex Natural Scenes



    Rendering realistic natural scenes in real-time is a challenging topic in the field of computer graphics. More specifically, we want to render scenes that contain complex shapes bounded in a layer above a surface. Landscapes (e.g., terrain, vegetation) are examples of such scenes. Lightings and shadows are essential elements toward realism because they help understanding shapes. However:
    • Using polygonal meshes and classical shadowing algorithms are too costly in terms of computation for complex scenes;
    • Adapted algorithms for dedicated representations such heightfields are efficient, but these representations are too limited for our needs (e.g. forest);
    • Although more powerful representations like surfels or texels exist, algorithms for quality and efficient lighting and shadowing are not available yet.
    Thus, our goal is to propose lighting and shadowing techniques adapted to such representations as well as the GPU.


    1. Cohen, J., Olano, M., and Manocha, D. 1998. Appearance-perserving simplification. In Proc. of the 25th annual conference on Computer graphics and interactive techniques, 115–122.
    2. Decaudin, P., and Neyret, F. 2004. Rendering forest scenes in real-time. In Eurographics Symposium on Rendering 2004.
    3. Fournier, A. 1992. Normal distribution functions and multiple surfaces. In Graphics Interface ’92 Workshop on Local Illumination, 45–52.
    4. Lafortune, E. P. F., Foo, S.-C., Torrance, K. E., and Greenberg, D. P. 1997. Non-linear approximation of reflectance functions. In Proc. of SIGGRAPH 97.
    5. Max, N. L. 1988. Horizon mapping: shadows for bump-mapped surfaces. The Visual Computer 4, 2 (July), 109–117.
    6. Sloan, P., and Cohen, M. F. 2000. Hardware accelerated horizon mapping. In Rendering Techniques 2000: 11th Eurographics Workshop on Rendering, 281–286.


ACM Digital Library Publication:

Overview Page: