Shadow Explorer is a sample application, with source code, that allows developers to work with several shadowing techniques, examine the performance versus quality tradeoffs of each one, and discover which is best suited for their game. In this first version of Shadow Explorer, we include four algorithms for evaluation: simple shadow maps, percentage closer shadow maps, variance shadow maps and exponential variance shadow maps. Each method is optimized for performance and exposes several variables, which allow the developer to further refine the technique in real time. Additionally, two scenes are provided to enable the developer to explore the strengths of each technique on different types of geometry.
The screenshot in the top shows Shadow Explorer configured to show Exponential Variance Shadow Maps with 5 cascades. The bottom screenshot shows how the light space and the cascades can be visualized concurrently as the user changes multiple shadow techniques and inputs in real time.
* See video to see it in action
* Download Source Code