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Extended Light Maps


Brabec,  Stefan
Computer Graphics, MPI for Informatics, Max Planck Society;

Seidel,  Hans-Peter
Computer Graphics, MPI for Informatics, Max Planck Society;

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Brabec, S., & Seidel, H.-P. (2000). Extended Light Maps. In Q. Mehdi, & N. Gough (Eds.), GAME-ON 2000 / 1st International Conference on Intelligent Games and Simulation (pp. 10-13). San Diego, USA: Society for Computer Simulation International.

Todays graphics hardware is capable of performing a large number of operations at very high rates. Since most of the graphics chips are designed in a pipelined fashion, e.g. similar to the OpenGL rendering pipeline, it is necessary to utilize as many processing units as possible to achieve high-quality results while keeping the number of rendering passes needed at a minimum. In this paper we present an algorithm that combines two well known algorithms in a very efficient manner. One is the \textit{shadow mapping} technique that is used to compute a shadow mask to determine lit and shadowed pixels. The second algorithm is called \textit{light mapping} and is a common approach for rendering complex light effects. These two are combined into a single texture map which we call an \textit{extended light map}. The benefit of this approach is that nearly all stages of the graphics pipeline can be used during the shadow map generation phase, which results in better image quality and a reduced number of rendering passes.