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Theory and Practice of Computer Graphics
Cardiff University, UK
17-19 June 2009


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From Theory To Practice: Advanced Shadow Mapping Techniques

This tutorial aims to give you a practical introduction to advanced shadow mapping techniques in both theory and practice. Although tremendous advances have been made in graphics hardware during the past decade, synthesizing realistic shadows is still very challenging in real-time rendering. Since there is a vast number of shadow algorithms this tutorial does not intend to address them all, instead, we focus on image-based shadow techniques based on shadow mapping. A comprehensive list of interesting topics in this area are introduced such as the mechanism of aliasing errors, the bias issue, pre-filtering shadow maps, optimized parallel-split shadow maps etc. For the implementations in practice we will also present a few optimisations and issues to be aware of. Example image 1Example Image 2

Dr. Fan Zhang received his PhD from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, in SeptFan Zhangember 2007. After that he joined into the core rendering team in Ubisoft Entertainment Ltd. (UK) as a graphics programmer until December 2008. Dr Zhang has published a list of technical papers in both academic conferences/journals and industrial books including ShaderX 7 ( and GPU Gems 3 ( The representative contribution from him is the Parallel-Split Shadow Maps (PSSMs) algorithm which has been extensively used in real-time shadow rendering. His main research interests include image-based rendering especially shadow mapping, and novel rendering techniques for real-time global illumination.