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davidleonardcook

Exponential Shadow Maps - better precision?

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I'm writing a brief sample app demonstrating exponential shadow maps, and I wanted to sanity-check a thought which occurred to me.

The standard derivations of the technique (e.g. here: [font=Calibri, sans-serif][size=2]Exponential Shadow Maps[/font]) always describe a precision limit of c ~ 80 for the constant c used in the expression exp(-cd). The limit is because you reach the min representable (non-denorm) value in a float32.

However, exp(-cd) is always <=1, since the depth d is >=0. So we aren't using any of float32's precision outside the [0,1] range.

I want to suggest that we replace exp(-cd) by exp(-cd+A), where A is chosen so that exp(A) is as large as can be accommodated without overflow (this is 128 * ln(2) ~ 88). The whole derivation should still hold as before. Also there should be no noticeable change in the quality of the previous results, since we are simply shifting the exponent, without changing the mantissa. Now it's possible to use c around twice as large as before.

Anything wrong with this?

Thanks,
David

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