Survey of cube mapping methods in interactive computer graphics

  • M. LambersEmail author


The standard cube mapping technique implemented in graphics pipelines, while useful in many scenarios, has significant shortcomings for important application areas in interactive computer graphics, e.g., dynamic environment mapping, omnidirectional shadow maps, or planetary-scale terrain rendering. Many alternative mapping methods have been proposed over the years with the purpose of reducing area and/or angular distortions. In this paper, we give an overview of methods suitable for interactive applications and analyze their properties. Furthermore, we evaluate a set of additional transformation functions and identify a simple new method with favorable distortion properties.


Cube maps Environment maps Distortion 



The polygonal world map data used in the example maps in Tables 1 and 2 are provided by Bjorn Sandvik,, license CC BY-SA 3.0.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computer Graphics GroupUniversity of SiegenSiegenGermany

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