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Cypher19

Enhancing shadows maps

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Over the past couple weeks, I've been thinking of ways that shadow maps could be enhanced on the feature end as opposed to just image quality (increasing the oversampling/resolution). One idea I came up with was having "shadows" for translucent surfaces. Some objects in real life can of course create partial shadows, such as smoke, stained glass windows (or just really dirty windows) and I came up with one solution for them that could be integrated into shadow maps fairly easily: 1) Render the shadow map from the light's POV as one normally would, without any translucent objects. 2) Render the translucent objects from the light's POV with depth checking against the old shadow map, but not writing, on. However, render the translucent objects entirely to an RGB texture, keeping the alpha of the translucent object in mind, not the sahdow map. 3) When rendering the scene, after checking if a pixel is in light, (and if it is) then multiply the value in the RGB texture with the object after calculating its colour (based on lighting, textures, etc.). I haven't tested this out yet, but in theory I it should work. There are some things I would like to note about it: -I find it likely that volumetric fog could work as a shadow caster, but as a shadow receiver I think even in the traditional shadow map algo it wouldn't work. -To produce realistic results, this could only be used for thin or non-refractive surfaces such as smoke or glass. I did try for awhile to think of some effective way to produce refractions that could be done as an extension to this transparency (by adding or subtracting light from the RGB texture) but found that it would not be able to work well since light could bend into an area that is in shadow (the refracted light would then appear at the surface of the shadow caster, which would look really, really weird). Damn shame too, it'd be nice to have a system for fully dynamic water caustics and such. If this has already been done, let me know and the topic can die. If this is new, well, whoopee!

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Guest Anonymous Poster
http://www.humus.ca/3D/index.php?page=Direct3D&start=8

Second example on that page.

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