A User Interface for Interactive Cinematic Shadow Design

F. Pellacini, P. Tole, D. Greenberg

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH 2002), 2002


Placing shadows is difficult task since shadows depend on the relative positions of lights and objects in an unintuitive manner. To simplify the task of the modeler, we present a user interface for designing shadows in 3d environments. In our interface, shadows are treated as first-class modeling primitives just like objects and lights. To transform a shadow, the user can simply move, rescale or rotate the shadow as if it was a 2d object on the scene's surfaces.

When the user transforms a shadow, the system moves lights or objects in the scene as required and updates the shadows in realtime during mouse movement. To facilitate interaction, the user can also specify constraints that the shadows must obey, such as never casting a shadow on the face of a character. These constraints are then verified in real-time, limiting mouse movement when necessary. We also integrate in our interface fake shadows typically used in computer animation. This allows the user to draw shadowed and non-shadowed regions directly on surfaces in the scene.