Aaaaaand here we go
First, I made a static mesh for testing purposes.
This is the version just like any other mesh:
And this is the “fake ready” version:
The plane that has been added to the ground is offset 1mm above the ground to prevent z-fighting when the mesh is placed on the ground
Now I put the first mesh into the level on a flat plane and build the lighting. (Dont forget the importance volume)
I place the camera view as directly from above and take a screenshot of the viewport. (Cheesy, but it works )
In photoshop, with some editing swag, the shadow is copied into the mask.
I also had a small rim masked out by the opacity patch, to help me position the shadow inside photoshop.
Afterwards, I disabled shadow casting on the mesh.
Here you can see both, side by side. The right mesh is lit statically, while the left uses the fake shadow.
Another upshot of this is that the shadow details are now independent from the lightmap resolution of the underlying floor mesh.
Just use a higher texture resolution on the fake mesh and improve on the shadow quality
If you assign a second material ID for the ground polygon, then you could also use translucency instead of masked opacity, faking some indirect lighting this way…
Also, nothing stops you from painting more shadow in to fake self shadowing (omitted in this example).
Hope that gets you a little closer to what you are looking for
[MENTION=4894]Tim Hobson[/MENTION] Are there any drawbacks to that method that Im missing?