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Shadows

Chosing an apppropriate shadow technique is a flip side of lighting implementation that cannot be disregarded if aiming for achieving graphic realism. The percieved scene substantially benefits from adding the shadows, as they provide the visual cues to the distance between the objects and their spatial relationships. In addition to that, shadows also allow to infer the physical shape of the objects, that block the light, and shadow-recieving surface, thus enriching the relief of the scene-represented geometry. And of course they hint where and of what form the light source is.

Unigine offers the following techniques for visualizing shadows:

Shadows Options

The importance of lighting for the scene perception was already dwelt upon in the corresponding articles. The following checkboxes define the shadowing by and of the surface:

  • Cast shadows — the surface will cast shadows if lit by any of the light sources, except for the world lights.
  • Receive shadows — the surface will be shadowed, if between it and the light source appears the casting-shadow obstacle. This also concerns any sources, except for the world lights.
  • Cast world shadows — the surface will cast shadows from the world lights. This option is separated, as this type of sources use a different shadowing technique (PSSM).
  • Receive world shadows — the surface will be shadowed, if the incident world light will be occluded by some casting-shadow obstacle.

Notice
To cast shadows from objects, the same shadows-related boxes should be also checked in the material settings at the same time. If at least one of the duplicated boxes is unchecked (either in surfaces options or in the material), the shadows are not rendered.

Split

Split option allows to skip rendering of high-detail shadow splits from World light source. (It is useful for small objects like pebble, twigs, scraps, etc.)

  • The maximum value of 4 means there is no optimization. The objects is rendered in all four shadow splits.
  • The values of 3 and 2 means that a shadow from an object surface is rendered only in 3 or 2 smaller shadow maps, respectively.
  • The minimum value of 0 results in no shadows from an object surface.
Last update: 2017-07-03