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Raytraced or shadow mapped shadows?


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I've been experimenting with Custom RW in preparation for for rendering a 5 min. animated walkthrough on a 2 GHz G5 Dual.

According to the RW manual, shadow mapped shadows render faster than raytraced shadows, however, my timing experiments show that clips using raytraced shadows render 30-40% quicker than shadow mapped renders. Am I missing something here, or does raytracing take advantage of the second processor, making it faster than shadow mapping on multiprocessor setups?

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I've noticed the same thing too. My thinking is that the ray tracing is much more an along the way type of process, whereas the shadow mapping is an up front type of process. I don't know why one would be slower than the other, but perhaps you're right that ray tracing does take advantage of the double processing.

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Raytracing starts to render an image almost immediately whereas "mapped shadows" renders the image after it calculates the shadows from each light source. The more lights one has, the longer it will take to start the render however, just the render times will be quicker.

Where mapped shadows comes into its own, is when one renders large images. It also tooks far better than the hard unrealistic raytraced shadows.

The only problem is that RenderWorks can not render transparency and mapped shadows together.

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VectorWorks made the move from MiniCAD and is a very valid top-knotch drafting/modeling program. I'm still waiting for 'MiniRender' to do the same though. Radiocity has been around since the LightScape days of 6 or 8 years ago. If you had programming inclinations you could make better quality renderings nearly a decade ago than Renderworks does now. As better rendering engines become easier to use easier engines like RW need to push even harder to become better . . . IMHO.

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I agree regarding the need for RW to stay competitive. People like myself are attracted to VW for the sake of "one stop shopping." I can make a model, render it, and compile all of the drafting and be safe knowing that it's all in the same program...ie. no transfer issues. But for all that RW can do, I'd love for it to be even more robust, so that I don't have to look at other rendering programs with envy.

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