Sample Distribution Shadow Maps

By Andrew Lauritzen, Marco Salvi, and Aaron Lefohn
Intel Corporation

Advances in Real-Time Rendering in 3D Graphics and Games, SIGGRAPH Courses 2010.

This demo showcases an extension to Z-partitioning (cascaded shadow maps) called Sample Distribution Shadow Maps (SDSMs). SDSMs optimize the placement and size of a fixed number of Z-partitions by analyzing the shadow sample distribution required by the current frame. They build on the advantages of current state of the art techniques, including predictable performance and constant memory usage, while removing tedious and ultimately suboptimal parameter tuning. SDSMs run efficiently on modern graphics hardware and produce significantly higher quality shadows than static Z-partitioning schemes. Furthermore, SDSMs save development time since they avoid the manual placement and maintenance of shadow partitions that is typically required by other Z-partitioning schemes.

Citation: Andrew Lauritzen, Sample Distribution Shadow Maps, Advances in Real-Time Rendering in 3D Graphics and Games, SIGGRAPH 2010, July 2010.

Video: MP4 (78 MB)
Slides: Zipped PPT (6mb), PDF (with notes-3mb)
Code: sdsm_2012-01.zip (31 mb - Updated 3/16/2012)

Video & Screenshots


Screenshot 1

Screenshot 2

This software is subject to the U.S. Export Administration Regulations and other U.S. law, and may not be exported or re-exported to certain countries (Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria) or to persons or entities prohibited from receiving U.S. exports (including Denied Parties, Specially Designated Nationals, and entities on the Bureau of Export Administration Entity List or involved with missile technology or nuclear, chemical or biological weapons).

For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.