A Microfacet-Based Shadowing Function to Solve the Bump Terminator Problem

Open Access


We present a technique to hide the abrupt shadow terminator line when strong bump or normal maps are used to emulate micro-geometry. Our approach, based on microfacet shadowing functions, is simple and inexpensive. Instead of rendering detailed and expensive height-field shadows, we apply a statistical solution built on the assumption that normals follow a nearly normal random distribution. We also contribute a useful approximate variance measure for GGX, which is otherwise undefined analytically.

Copyright information

© NVIDIA 2019

Open Access This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (, which permits any noncommercial use, sharing, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if you modified the licensed material. You do not have permission under this license to share adapted material derived from this chapter or parts of it.

The images or other third party material in this chapter are included in the chapter's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the chapter's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sony Pictures ImageworksVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations