So for a visuals test that we made we decided to light the majority of the scene using torches that use particle lights. While this lights quite well they don’t cast shadows which while a bit of a bummer is understandable.
So my question is whats the best way to gain the visual appeal and relative realism of the particle lights but have shadows cast as well?
I have looked into it a fair bit and my pseudo attempt uses a light function with a stretched texture with a pannier to create a “flicker” effect but I’m not really that happy with the results. I was wondering if there is a way to use the particles themselves as a way to drive the light function? (number, position, etc.)
I found a way that you can mimic this effect. The particles themselves cannot cast a shadow, but if you go into blueprints and create the torch (components>set particle system), then add a point light in the center. Change the color of the light to fit the fire. Go into graph and set it up so that on a tick a timeline continuously loops. You need to use dramatic numbers in the timeline to get any significant results, but set the output of the timeline to affect the brightness of the point light. By doing this it will create a flickering effect that loops continuously as the torch burns. It is a bit of a process but it does give the illusion of flickering shadows. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
In addition to that, you may want to increase the Min. Roughness value of the light so that it doesnt show on reflective surfaces with low roughness values.