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Signed Distance Field (SDF)

Resources, links, papers, discussions, ShaderToys on SDF and related algorithm. Please contibute to this resource by sending your PRs!

Tutorials / introductions

Jamie Wong, Ray Marching and Signed Distance Functions

Alex Benton, Ray Marching and Signed Distance Fields

Sungiant, Sphere tracing signed distance functions (Scala)

Rendering Worlds with Two Triangles / with raytracing on the GPU in 4096 bytes

Raymarching Beginners' Thread

Potatro, RayMarching and DistanceFields : a story of SphereTracing

Ray Marching for Dummies!

Electric Square, Raymarching Workshop

2D Distance fields with Unity and Unreal

SDF Decomposition

The smallest WebGL SDF raymarcher (135 bytes), with detailed source code and useful links

SDF Generator using Compute Shaders in Unity

Games and tools


Alex Evans at Umbra Ignite 2015: Learning From Failure Dreams tech from early prototypes to cloud point rendering


Dreams: Under the Hood with Alex Evans!

Alex Evans (NVIDIA), Optimising for Artist Happiness


Distance field editor with the same UI as MagicaVoxel by Epthtracy

SDF editor on the web GIF here :

Distance Field Modeler for Unreal Engine


CSG (CAD) tool


Clayxels is the volumetric toolkit for Unity

Collaborative SDF editing


"Claybook is a unique world made entirely of clay. Shape your character and the world around you to overcome challenging obstacles."


Signed is a Lua based 3D modeling and construction language and will be a unique way to create 3D content, objects as well as whole scenes, in high detail.

SDF pathtracer on CPU

Pathtracer written on CPU which is capable of rendering both SDF as functions and as a volume grids. The application is written on top of Yocto/GL library.


Bounding Volume Hierarchy (BVH) implementation for SDFs to reduce per ray distance measurements

SDF / Ray Marching Prototypes. A collection of SDF related examples using fungi to handle the rendering.

Algorithms / Papers

Iq distance functions

Jon Baker, The Distance Estimator Compendium (many distance distance functions with awesome Fractal primitives)

Max Norm ellipsoid (sphere with transforms)

Efficient Max-Norm Distance Computation and Reliable Voxelization PDF

Distance to Quadratic Bezier 3D:

GPU-Driven Rendering Pipelines / Cluster rendering

Making Signed Distance Field Textures With Jump Flooding Algorithm (2D)

Enhanced Sphere Tracing

Collection of smooth minimums, maximums, ramps, and absolutes.

Segment Tracing Using Local Lipschitz Bounds (improve the marching step computation and accelerate the overall process.)

Improved Alpha-Tested Magnification for Vector Textures and Special Effects (Valve 2007)

Massively Parallel Rendering of Complex Closed-Form Implicit Surfaces

Tom Duff, Interval Arithmetic and Recursive Subdivision for Implicit Functions and Constructive Solid Geometry

Raph Levien’s research on 2D blurred shapes

Interval Raymarching

GigaVoxels:A Voxel-Based Rendering Pipeline For Efficient Exploration Of Large And Detailed Scenes

Adaptively Sampled Distance Fields: A General Representation of Shape for Computer Graphics _ Frisken, Perry, Rockwood, and Jones - 2000

Kizamu: A System for Sculpting Digital Characters - Frisken and Perry - 2001

Hierarchical hp-Adaptive Signed Distance Fields - Koschier, Deul, and Bender - 2016

GPU-Accelerated Adaptively Sampled Distance Fields - Bastos and Celes - 2008

Signed Distance Computation using the Angle Weighted Pseudo-normal - Bærentzen and Aanæs - 2005

Fast Winding Numbers for Soups and Clouds - Barill, Dickson, Schmidt, Levin, and Jacobson - 2018

Non-linear Sphere Tracing for Rendering Deformed Signed Distance Fields - Seyb, Jacobson, Nowrouzezahrai, and Jarosz - 2019

Concurrent Binary Trees (with application to longest edge bisection)

Bounding Interval Hierarchies (BIH) - 2006 (for improved per Ray distance calculations)

GPU accelerated BIH Construction - 2014

Synchronized-tracing of implicit surfaces - 2023


Dynamic Bounding Volume Hierarchies (BVH methods applicable to BIH)


Advanced Graphics Techniques Tutorial: GPU-Based Clay Simulation and Ray-Tracing Tech in 'Claybook'

Rendering mandelbox fractals faster with cone marching

Conemarching in VR / Developing a Fractal experience at 90 FPS / Johannes Saam / Mariano Merchante / FRAMESTORE

Fluid and Particle Physics in PixelJunk Shooter. 2D fluids collision detection with SDF

Realtime sparse Distance Fields for game

Twitter/Reddit discussions

BVH with blending

fBM style displacement Inigo quilez @iquilezles

How is SDF stored in a octree?

Using @SebAaltonen's eikonal solver ( to fix interior/exterior of SDF after add/cut.

Casey Muratori's helpful notes for Implicit Surfaces and Interval Arithmetic

"my best idea right now is to start in the middle of the ray/bounds intersection, and add new samples at the half way point of every unknown segment of the ray until you find a hit with no unknown space preceding it"

"the idea here is that you start at the graph leaves and work your way down to the graph root. leaves emit geometry for basic shapes. operators modify the mesh data, and so on."


hg_sdf A glsl library for building signed distance functions by Mercury

Rust & Vulkan test projects. "The first test project renders 1 million cubes, each containing a 950 MB (uncompressed) distance field volume. The second test project is going to be using sparse octree storing a hierarchy of distance field volume bricks."

libfive is a software library and set of tools for solid modeling, especially suited for parametric and procedural design.

Conversion to Polygonal Mesh

isosurface: A project testing and comparing various algorithms for creating isosurfaces

Manifold Dual Contouring - Schaefer, Ju, and Warren - 2007

Dual Contouring Tutorial


Collection of resources (papers, links, discussions, shadertoys,...) related to Signed Distance Field








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