More Efficient Virtual Shadow Maps for Many Lights

Ola Olsson, Markus Billeter, Erik Sintorn, Viktor Kämpe, Ulf Assarsson (2015): More Efficient Virtual Shadow Maps for Many Lights. In: Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on, 21 (6), pp. 701-713, 2015, ISSN: 1077-2626.

This paper is an extended version of the previous years I3D paper, which was selected and invited for publication in TVCG. The extended paper adds some exploration of how to exploit static scene elements. That is, geometry and lights that do not move between frames. We show how this can be achieved by re-using the machinery we created to cull shadow casters and flag virtual shadow map pages. The implementation also features much faster physical memory commits and a ARB compliant design.


Recently, several algorithms have been introduced that enable real-time performance for many lights in applications such as games. In this paper, we explore the use of hardware-supported virtual cube-map shadows to efficiently implement high-quality shadows from hundreds of light sources in real time and within a bounded memory footprint. In addition, we explore the utility of ray tracing for shadows from many lights and present a hybrid algorithm combining ray tracing with cube maps to exploit their respective strengths. Our solution supports real-time performance with hundreds of lights in fully dynamic high-detail scenes.


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