Chapter 9. Efficient Shadow Volume Rendering

Morgan McGuire Brown University

Introduction

A security guard’s shadow precedes him into a vault—enough advance warning to let the thief hide on the ceiling. Ready to pounce on an unwary space marine, the alien predator clings to a wall, concealed in the shadow of a nearby gun turret. Yellow and red shadows of ancient marbled gods flicker on the walls of a tomb when the knight’s torch and the druid’s staff illuminate the statues inside. These are just a few vivid examples of how real-time shadows are used today in gaming.

Real-time shadows are now required for new 3D games. Gamers are accustomed to the perceptual, strategic, and cinematic benefits of realistic lighting. Unlike other effects, shadows aren’t ...

Get GPU Gems: Programming Techniques, Tips and Tricks for Real-Time Graphics now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.