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Soft Shadows using GLSL

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Is there any way to create soft shadows by just rendering the objects (which are casting the shadows) in several passes to achieve a soft shadow? Or do I have to do the volume/stencil shadow stuff and then blur the shadows? I'd prefer a way which doesn't require transforming the vertices at the edges away from the light source to create volume shadows. Probably storing the data in the fragment buffer ('cause one can't access the stencil buffer from GLSL) and using this data whithin the next pass or passes? Any hints are welcome!

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You can get fake soft shadow using shadow maps (google for it, there are simply too many methods and sources). If you want something more you could try this.
On the net there is a ton of material about SM: this could be a good start.

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You can use SM and the in the fragment shader sample the neighboring pixels and make your soft shadows that way. This way you can sample as many pixels as you want.

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