How can I get good near and far shadows?

When I adjust the dynamic shadow distance of a Moveable directional light, I can either get good shadows in the near field or good shadows in the far field. How can I get good shadows in both? I have an i7 processor and 32GB of Ram, So I’m guessing processing power isn’t an issue for Arch viz.

Increase the number of cascades, and if you really have to, raise r.Shadow.MaxResolution. These will both have a huge impact on performance. Typically games use 4 cascades with 2048 on this gen.

For really distant shadows we either use baked shadows (Stationary light) or Ray traced Distance field shadows. Cascaded Shadow Maps don’t perform well in the distance (too many draw calls and triangles).

Do you use UE4s “far shadow cascades” or do you try to fill near and far with the regular shadow map cascades? For things far away, the far shadow is working quite well, and I think it should be independent from the regular shadow map cascades, so you should be able to adjust those for good look close up and have the far shadow fill the distance.

There are some projects or parts of your project where you can neither use baked shadows nor distance field shadows, and there the far shadows are the best option. If you are able to use distance field shadows, those are definitely the best, especially if you are on master where they should be more than twice as fast compared to 4.15 due to some awesome optimizations more or less recently added.