> Reference Database

Graphics/Illumination/Shadow volumes

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Shadow Volume Reconstruction from Depth Maps
Jan 2000 - Michael D. McCool
This paper describes how to reconstruct a shadow volume from a rendered depthmap, or shadow map.

Michael Skinner
This article gives a basic overview of several shadow algorithms including shadow volumes and shadow maps.

Practical and Robust Stenciled Shadow Volumes for Hardware-Accelerated Rendering
March 2002 - Cass Everitt, Mark Kilgard
The title pretty much says it all. The article explains how to overcome some of the difficulties with stenciled shadow volumes.

The Theory of Stencil Shadow Volumes
Dec 2002 - Hun Yen Kwoon
The article discusses stencil volumes, their problems and possible solutions. It's theoretical and thus doesn't show any implementation details but is never-the-less an interesting read.

Silhouette Tracking
June, 2003 - Tom J Hall
This article explains an algorithm that tracks the changes to silhouettes between frames. A performace increase of 700% is found compared to finding the silhouette from scratch each frame.

Approximate Soft Shadows on Arbitrary Surfaces using Penumbra Wedges
June, 2002 - Tomas Akenine-Möller, Ulf Assarsson
This article shows how to implement soft shadows, by extending the shadow volume algorithm with penumbra wedges.

Fast, Practical, and Robust Shadow Volumes
Nov 2003 - Morgan McGuire, John F Hughes, Kevin T Egan, Mark J Kilgard, Cass Everitt

Real-time Soft Shadows in a Game Engine
Dec, 2003 - Kasper Fauerby, Carsten Kjaer
This thesis shows how to do soft shadows using stencil shadow volumes and penumbra wedges. It also talks about managing large amount of light sources and occluders in a scene.

Hardware Determined Edge Features
2004 - Morgan McGuire, John F. Hughes
With this technique it is a simple task to do cartoon rendering, furs, and other effects that needs edge detection. I feel that it is particularly well suited for generating the shadow volumes on the GPU.

ZP+: Correct Z-pass Stencil Shadows
Fev, 2004 - Samuel Hornus, Jared Hoberock, Sylvain Lefebvre, John Hart
This article presents a new way of rendering stencil shadows. It uses the z-pass technique, but eliminates the need to compute caps at the near plane, by rendering the stencil shadows from the lightsource's point of view.

Advanced Stencil Shadow and Penumbral Wedge Rendering
March, 2005 - Eric Lengyel
Slides that presents how to do stencil soft shadows with penumbra wedges. It contains plenty of optimizations for making the rendering as fast as possible.

Shadow Techniques for Relief Texture Mapped Objects
Oct, 2005 - Alan Watt, Fabio Policarpo
Excerpt from the book Advanced Game Development with Programmable Graphics Hardware.

Shadow Caster Volumes For The Culling Of Potential Shadow Casters
Luke Hutchinson
Shows one way of improving performance by culling shadow casters that do not produce visible shadows.

An Optimized Soft Shadow Volume Algorithm with Real-Time Performance
2003 - Ulf Assarsson, Michael Dougherty, Michael Mounier, Tomas Akenine-Möller

Real-time Shadow Algorithms and Techniques
Oct, 2008 - nVidia
nVidia has set up a page full of links to articles and samples on shadowing, including most popular techniques, such as shadow mapping, shadow volumes, soft shadows, etc.