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Cascaded Shadow Map System

The SpeedTree rendering system features a cascade shadow mapping system, as first introduced by John Carmack. Our approach is very similar to those outlined in:

  • Shader X5: “Cascaded Shadow Maps,” by Wolfgang Engel, and
  • NVIDIA Whitepaper: “Cascaded Shadow Maps,” by Rouslan Dimitrov

Shadow settings are available in the Compiler, but these are specific for how the reference application is set up. This shadow system is in place to:

  1. Enable rapid prototyping of real-time shadow maps

  2. Demonstrate that SpeedTree can work in a completely dynamic lighting environment

  3. Work out the problems associated with rendering geometry using shadow maps so that integrations may go more smoothly.

The existence of this shadow system does not preclude using SpeedTree with your engine's shadow system.