8

The other day I was confronted by someone complaining that Watch Dogs does not have dynamic shadows. I thought Watch Dogs looked pretty good, why do you need dynamic shadows?

What are dynamic shadows and what do they look like?

  • Your shadow in real life is dynamic. To expand when you see people/objects in game with just a circle or ellipse around them, that's more of a static shadow – Brian Jul 18 '14 at 21:34
12

Dynamic shadows are shadows that are calculated in real-time to look like the object's real shadow would, based on the shape of the object and the location of the light-source(s).

dynamic shadow

This is a computationally-expensive task, so it was not feasible in most older 3D games. Instead, they'd precompute shadows for static (non-moving) objects, and emulate shadows for moving objects, typically using a decal painted onto the ground.

precomputed shadows shadow decal

Since you mentioned Watch Dogs, here is a comparison of Watch Dogs with and without dynamic shadows (please note this is an unofficial mod, so the shadows look weird sometimes):

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.