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resource management in shadow mapping techniques

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Shadowing techniques are becoming a key feature in any worth 3D engine, and several techniques exist... volume shadows, and sevaral variations of shadow maps, which require rendering to texture. To me, it looks that Shadow Mapping is going to be the main stream method for rendering shadows... I've checked some demo samples, and all of them lok very nice... but they're demos. My question is: how should I manage all the required resources, on a complex scene? Let's say, I have a complex environment, with dozens of local lights casting shadows locally, and 27 characters wandering arround. In that sample, what should I do? create a dynamic texture for every character, and render that character in that texture, and then use the "shadow textures" of every character for final redering? Or should I have only a single dynamic texture, and every time I want to render a shadow of a certain character, render again that dynamic texture, and use it inmediatelly after? And... how looks a complete redering loop for drawing a frame? Any samples with shadow maps and complex environmets? ... I think my questions are too broad... sorry :/

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one shadow mapping for entire scene is the only thing that you need.
Just use this texture for every element of the scene and use the shader instructions in every material (or with deferred shader on a render target).
If your problem is precision take a look to perspective, trapezoidal or light perspective shadow mapping. Those technique give full detail only on element near camera.

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