Solutions for Distance Field Shadows and Skeletal Meshes

Hey all!

Just posting to see if anyone has any good suggestions for what to do in regards to Skeletal meshes and Distance Field Shadows. For my game, I really want to utilize the smooth shadows that DFS gives, and the performance is great. The levels I’ve implemented it in look great so far. The problem I’ve run into is that it just seems impossible to get the Skeletal Mesh characters that run around those levels to produce decent looking shadows.

Current workarounds I have tried are:

  • Switching to Stationary lights and using Capsule physics shadows. An okay solution but causing issues with baked light artifacts and adding a lot of wasted time to workflow from having to build lighting that already looked great in real-time.
  • Creating a hidden actor that attaches low res hidden static meshes to bone sockets and turns on bHiddenShadows to have them still cast shadows. Seems to work okay but it’s a lot of pre-prep involved, needs quite a few sockets made and still not as nice-looking as I was hoping.

I’ve found threads from as far back as 2015 that ask how to solve the issue but not really found any kind of solution from my searches. Am I missing something really obvious in how to do this? Has something been added to the engine that solves this issue that I’ve missed?