In the last part of the short blog series, we will take a quick look at the required realism of shadow in Augmented Reality scenarios. Is shadow detail crucial for user acceptance?
Required Detail of Shadows
The HoloLens is essentially a head-worn, battery-powered PC. As such, the computing capacity is of course much less compared to most virtual reality systems like the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift where a full-blown PC with a power consumption of around 600 W is rendering the scenes.
Many games use highly simplified shadows that are only a very crude approximation of what a real shadow should look like. In this experiment, the aim was to examine how much simplification of volumentric shadows is accepted by subjects.
The scenario consisted of a high quality torus that floated above the floor. The shadow was generated using different levels of detail; the highest had no visible edges, while the lowest was basically just a pentagon.