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Joao Barreira, Maximino Bessa, Luis Barbosa, and Luis Magalhaes. A context-aware method for authentically simulating outdoors shadows for mobile augmented reality. IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics, 24(3):1223–1231, 2018. (Invited TVGC article).


Visual coherence between virtual and real objects is a major issue in creating convincing augmented reality (AR) applications. To achieve this seamless integration, actual light conditions must be determined in real time to ensure that virtual objects are correctly illuminated and cast consistent shadows. In this paper, we propose a novel method to estimate daylight illumination and use this information in outdoor AR applications to render virtual objects with coherent shadows. The illumination parameters are acquired in real time from context-aware live sensor data. The method works under unprepared natural conditions. We also present a novel and rapid implementation of a state-of-the-art skylight model, from which the illumination parameters are derived. The Sun's position is calculated based on the user location and time of day, with the relative rotational differences estimated from a gyroscope, compass and accelerometer. The results illustrated that our method can generate visually credible AR scenes with consistent shadows rendered from recovered illumination.