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how to get shadows that get soft with distance?

my baked shadows are really sharp and well defined, but that takes a bit of the realism from my scene. so I tried area shadows, but then they become realy pixelated.

I have what I consider a good resolution for my lightmaps. by the default color coding, lightmap density is well above red for all my meshes. I tried increasing the resolution to see what happens to the area shadows, but even doubling them the result is still not good.

how do I get better shadows?

Hmmm… That’s strange. You mean baked shadows from area lights are pixelated even though lightmap resolution is high? Maybe you accidentally turned on “Compress Lightmaps.”

@fael097 There is a new path course at the https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/academy which teaches a lot of tricks and it is a set of several videos, with a companion project with lots of maps (one per video) which are really useful to understand what is missing giving the doubts you got. Just select in the Learning Path the route for ArchiViz and you will get there quite fast while learning a thing or two on things you might not even have experienced yet.

no, I’m using a directional light as the sun, and tried enabling “use area shadows for stationary light” to get soft shadows

hey, thanks. you mean the “becoming an architectural visualizer” learning path? I’m checking this one right now!

Yes that one. I am almost finishing it and I will go over all the remaining courses aswel, the more the better! Cheers!