Best shadow quality for Static GI ArchViz

Hi guys,

i just started playing with unreal engine 3-4 weeks ago. The system is so fun but also so confusing since there is so much parameters and dynamics. So… my question is how can i get best shadow quailty for GI. I read about distance field shadows but also area lights for stationary lights etc. Which gives best quality? Or should i use them together? Here is the image of my problem with a stationary directional light baked at production. area shadows enabled. shadow exponent is 1 instead of 2.

as you see they are fine at window side/ starting area but its too jagged at end side. i like that expanding shadow effect instead of full sharp shadows but that distortion bugs me too much.

Distance field shadows work with dynamic lighting and it has it’s limitations. What you are seeing with area shadows in the screenshot is because of the lightmap resolution of the wall i believe. You’ll need to use higher res. lightmaps in certain situations for area shadows, which is also stated in the documentation. Also disable Compressed Lightmaps in World Settings > Lightmass Settings if you havent already for better lightmap quality.

thank you for answer. yea i read about lightmaps. resolution for wall is 2048 already :smiley: and resolution for overall at world settings are 4086. they are not fairly high? also there is better shadow quality solution for baked static shadows? i really dont need something dynamic. i just want something static but top-notch.

Yeah, 2048 is pretty high. Looking at the size of that wall even that may not be enough for area shadows though, so you’ll probably need to split the wall into 2 pieces at least i guess. Btw, all the quality settings you need are the first 4 parameters under World Settings > Lightmass Settings. Decreasing Static Lighting Level Scale may help but i dont think the others will help much with area shadows.

ok. thank you. so if i turn of area shadows i can get high quality shadows but they will be sharper right? or there is another way to get high quality shadows without area shadows?

Yeah, if you turn area shadows off you can tweak Static Lighting Level Scale, Indirect Lighting Bounces, Indirect Lighting Quality and Indirect Lighting Smoothness values and get great looking static lighting. There is no setting that suits every project so you’ll have to do some tests with those parameters until you are satisfied with the result.

Also check out this guide if you havent already: A new, community-hosted Unreal Engine Wiki - Announcements - Unreal Engine Forums

i checked that already actually. i just wanted nice soft shadow which has perspective deformation ( penumbra i guess? ). and it can only achieved with area shadows i think and with hours of baking because of distortions… :confused: thanks anyway.