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shadow maps

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To build the shadow map, the scene is rendered from the light's perspective, and the normalized depth values are stored. But, with floating point render targets, why not just store the 3D euclidean distance from the pixel to the light source in world space? Then do the depth comparison in world space for shadow mapping.

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You can do that, but you need the 32 bit per channel target then. Lots of time it's a 16 bit RT that is used, this allows 2 channel to fit in 32 bit per pixel, one depth, the other variance. 16 is not good to store unnormalized depth values I think.

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