This is How Shadows, Penumbra, and Light Samples Work

Technical Director and Animator Meghdad Asadi Helps Visualize the Relationship Between Light, Shadows, Penumbra and Light Samples

A brief demonstration of how shadow samples are needed or affecting the quality of soft shadows in CG.

Meghdad Asadi is a Technical Director and Animator as well as an assistant professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Instruction relies in part on creating visual guides and simple explanations of how some complex concepts work. In computer graphics, the relationship between Light, Shadow, Penumbra and Light Samples is a difficult one to convey.

A simple diagram can help to show the relationship between light and dark versus samples. Why stop there? Meghdad created an interactive graph withing Autodesk Maya that can explain how light source size, distance direction, and samples can affect the cast of shadows in Cg. A constructive simulation to help understand what happens with tracing rays in 3D.

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