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Rendering shadows with Directional Light | Beginner Question

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    Rendering shadows with Directional Light | Beginner Question

    Hello Unreal community,

    I am a Director of Photography for Films and I am using Unreal Engine since half a year now, mostly for Previz.
    Watching a lot of the Unreal and Quixel Tutorials and getting used more and more to the engine.

    So, this might be a really dump beginner question, but I cannot figure out the solution for myself.

    I am starting a level with real basic stuff, Directional Light (Stationary), SkyLight, AtmosphericFog, ExpontentialHeightFog and a PostProcess Volume (Set to Infinite Extent and only for setting the Exposure to Manuel).

    So when I am not baking the light, the tree throws a nice shadow. But then, when I really want to "Build the light", the tree shadow looks like a puddle.

    Also setting the Build Light to "Production" and then "Engine Scalability Settings" to Max, it looks the same, the same puddle.

    So, I am assuming I am doing something wrong in general.

    I am using a Macbook Pro (Late 2016), 4GB Graphic Card.

    I would be very happy if someone can help me out.

    Thank you, greetings Frederick


    #2
    Originally posted by FrederickSkate View Post
    Hello Unreal community,

    I am a Director of Photography for Films and I am using Unreal Engine since half a year now, mostly for Previz.
    Watching a lot of the Unreal and Quixel Tutorials and getting used more and more to the engine.

    So, this might be a really dump beginner question, but I cannot figure out the solution for myself.

    I am starting a level with real basic stuff, Directional Light (Stationary), SkyLight, AtmosphericFog, ExpontentialHeightFog and a PostProcess Volume (Set to Infinite Extent and only for setting the Exposure to Manuel).

    So when I am not baking the light, the tree throws a nice shadow. But then, when I really want to "Build the light", the tree shadow looks like a puddle.

    Also setting the Build Light to "Production" and then "Engine Scalability Settings" to Max, it looks the same, the same puddle.

    So, I am assuming I am doing something wrong in general.

    I am using a Macbook Pro (Late 2016), 4GB Graphic Card.

    I would be very happy if someone can help me out.

    Thank you, greetings Frederick
    Static shadows depend on the resolution of the lightmap on the actor the shadow is being cast upon, in your case that tiled area.

    If you want a better static shadow, you have to increase the lightmap reslution of the mesh getting the shadow.

    But...

    If you set your directional and skylight to 'stationary', you get the best of both worlds.

    You only need to have a 'good enough' static shadow, and can use dynamic shadows when close to the object by setting 'dynamic shadow distance stationary light' on your directional light.

    If you set it to around 500 and move in and out you can see it working...

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by ClockworkOcean View Post

      Static shadows depend on the resolution of the lightmap on the actor the shadow is being cast upon, in your case that tiled area.

      If you want a better static shadow, you have to increase the lightmap reslution of the mesh getting the shadow.

      But...

      If you set your directional and skylight to 'stationary', you get the best of both worlds.

      You only need to have a 'good enough' static shadow, and can use dynamic shadows when close to the object by setting 'dynamic shadow distance stationary light' on your directional light.

      If you set it to around 500 and move in and out you can see it working...
      Thank you very much for answering my question.

      - First I tried out your suggested solution with increasing the resolution of the "Ground" mesh. And with 512 and also 1024 it worked pretty well, but the movement of the shadow of the tree (Wind) couldn't be displayed on the ground, albeit the tree moved. Without baking the light, the tree shadow moved also in the wind. Can you explain me this?

      - With "dynamic shadow distance stationary light" setting to a value of 500 it worked perfectly. Also the shadow was moving according to the wind.

      Thank you very much!

      Greetings Frederick

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by FrederickSkate View Post

        Thank you very much for answering my question.

        - First I tried out your suggested solution with increasing the resolution of the "Ground" mesh. And with 512 and also 1024 it worked pretty well, but the movement of the shadow of the tree (Wind) couldn't be displayed on the ground, albeit the tree moved. Without baking the light, the tree shadow moved also in the wind. Can you explain me this?

        - With "dynamic shadow distance stationary light" setting to a value of 500 it worked perfectly. Also the shadow was moving according to the wind.

        Thank you very much!

        Greetings Frederick
        It's like I explained, if you bake totally, you can't have moving shadows, of course. So, best compromise is stationary lights with near dynamic shadows.

        That way the static shadows are always some distance away ( so you don't need that much resolution ), and you get moving leaves etc

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by ClockworkOcean View Post

          It's like I explained, if you bake totally, you can't have moving shadows, of course. So, best compromise is stationary lights with near dynamic shadows.

          That way the static shadows are always some distance away ( so you don't need that much resolution ), and you get moving leaves etc
          Thank you very much for getting back to me so fast. I really appreciate your knowledge. I totally understand! :-)

          Comment

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