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Static Light Shadows without Lightmass?

How do I get a light (any light type really) to cast a static shadow without the need for a Lightmass bake?

There are only two possibilitys, bake the light or use dynamic light… If you don’t like to bake the light simply set it to movable.

So in order to have a static shadowmap, I need to bake my entire scene with Lightmass. That’s what your saying?

Yes. Lightmass is the program that calculates the static lighting.

So if I understand this correctly, you guys are telling me that in Unreal Engine 4, I have to do a full scene bake with lightmass in order to get a single spotlight to produce a static shadowmap, which wouldn’t even be a static shadowmap anymore but just part of the scenes lightmaps, where in every other 3d engine available, it’s just a matter of a toggle between static or dynamic? In other words; In a scene with no baked lightmaps, true static shadowmaps are not supported cause why would you ever need those?
Please someone tell me this is a bad joke :confused:

You wanted static shadows. You can have instant dynamic shadows by setting said light to movable.

Thanks for your answer.

Static shadows aren’t baked for lights but for objects lightmaps. Each object can have maximum of 4 stationary lights shadows precalculated. This is the reason why you need full rebuild.

I think you’re confusing shadow maps that lights use in 3D programs like 3ds Max for baked lighting in UE4. Baked lighting in UE4 is an image map applied to the object receiving the shadows, in something like 3ds Max it’s an image projected from the light that controls the amount of detail in the shadow. Lightmass does a lot more calculations since it does global illumination which makes it slow, but gives better results. If it didn’t do GI then it would be able to do basic shadows pretty quickly though you would still have to set up your UV’s properly and configure the lightmap resolution for each object.

No I’m quite sure I’m not confusing anything. I’m well aware of lightmass and its workflow and I can even differ between a lightmap and a shadowmap :rolleyes:
In many ‘game’ engines, lights come with a toggle to allow for the shadows to be either fully dynamic or just static. Obviously this is done because fully dynamic shadowcasters are so hugely more expensive performancewise.
Of course UE4 offers a host of light-customizations too, including named toggles. It’s just that where it concerns UE4, I’m wondering if my only path to a static light is to bake it into a lightmap, or if there’s an option to have the shadows just being rendered to texture once (as opposed to updated each frame, which is essentially the difference between a static and a dynamic light anyways). Sorry if I can’t explain myself more clearly but it really should come across now.

I’ve never known any other engines that allow you to do something like that though it doesn’t seem unreasonable. Since it has to be rendered to a texture map you would still have to deal with UV mapping, one of the advantages of dynamic lighting is that it doesn’t depend on your UV’s so it’s faster to deal with. You could possibly get close to the same result by rendering lightmass without GI since that would significantly improve rendering speed.

Hmm. Ok, thanks for all the assistance guys. Really appreciated!

Is there automatic caching with dynamic shadows when light isn’t moving and there are only static objects around it?