Comparison of Dynamic Lighting Architectures

Bas Zalmstra¬†and I were building a rendering engine during our Bachelor’s Computer Science. We were inspired by the (at that time) recently published Inferred Lighting technique to explore and compare several dynamic lighting techniques.

Tech Demo

We created a tech demo which demonstrates the various lighting techniques. A plethora of debug options expose the inner workings of the techniques. Check out these fancy screenshots:


We wrote a paper to conclude our exploration of dynamic lighting techniques. The paper contains a thorough explanation of the techniques which is accompanied by several benchmarks comparing the performance and quality.
In retrospect, some parts of the comparative analysis were a bit naive. For example the light pre-pass rendering technique has some advantages over deferred shading which are ignored in the paper

The paper can be downloaded here.

5 thoughts on “Comparison of Dynamic Lighting Architectures”

  1. Interesting paper! A minor correction: The first commercial game to use deferred shading (to my knowledge) was Shrek 1, an Xbox 1 launch title which shipped in Nov. ’01. I gave a presentation at GDC 2004 which talked about this in quite a bit of depth. Atman Binstock and I developed it starting around Jan. ’01.

    See my blog post reply here for some technical details:

    The GDC presentation (which was later cited several times in other deferred rendering related articles/presentations) was at this URL until recently. Let me know if you would like a copy.
    “Deferred Lighting and Shading.” Presentation at Game Developers Conference 2004.

    1. Thank you! And also for the correction, it seems I was 6 years off!

      Very impressive you were able to implement deferred shading on an Xbox. I’m really interested in a copy of the GDC presentation, thank you in advance!

  2. Wow! Amazing o.o! I’m a first year Bachelor student and I have problems doing basic shading *haha*. I’ll keep trying and failing (unfortunately). But, one day… I’ll definitely try to create this as well!

    Keep the good work up!

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