Chapter 5

Shading Basics

“A good picture is equivalent to a good deed.”

—Vincent Van Gogh

When you render images of three-dimensional objects, the models should not only have the proper geometrical shape, they should also have the desired visual appearance. Depending on the application, this can range from photorealism—an appearance nearly identical to photographs of real objects—to various types of stylized appearance chosen for creative reasons. See Figure 5.1 for examples of both.

This chapter will discuss those aspects of shading that are equally applicable to photorealistic and stylized rendering. Chapter 15 is dedicated specifically to stylized rendering, and a significant part of the book, Chapters 9 through 14, focuses on physically ...

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