Subsurface Scattering is broken in UE5

Subsurface scattering is not working in UE5 Early Access. There is no transclucency or light scattering whatsoever. Also, the lit parts have lighting arifacts. Directional light shows through subsurface materials but not as expected: there is no scattering, only the light shows through the mesh as a square with glitchy boundaries.

I applied this material to a static mesh:

This is the result

This is what it should be as seen in UE4.26

The link to download the project (Open the level Subsurface_Error from the Contents folder):

Same problem here.

Yeah, somehow the shadows, that are cast, break everything. If you turn off “Cast shadows” in the point light, then it works.

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Virtual shadow maps don’t support transmission in the early access version.


I have the same issue here so I’m necromancy ressurecting this thread.

As witch-dev said

Virtual shadow maps don’t support transmission in the early access version.

So it is not very surprising but is that why shadows are broken as well?

I hope this gets fixed quickly!

From the Documentation

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For the time being Suthriel’s comment worked for me. I use another light source with diminished intensity without casting shadows. It’s not ideal, but it works for artificial lighting scenarios.

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Not sure if this makes sense or not, but turning off “contact shadows” in the mesh of a leaf allowed SSS to work yet still cast a shadow. I’m using the two sided foliage shader.

Don’t know if it’d interest anyone in here, but even if subsurface scattering is not working yet, subsurface profile IS working. They used that on Echo in the valley of the ancients demo and my team is now using it while we are waiting for a better solution.

Here’s a link to the documentation to set it up