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Change how Shadowing work or: Soft Shadows are impossible

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    [RENDERING] Change how Shadowing work or: Soft Shadows are impossible

    For days I tried to find a good technique for shadowing and Lighting my levels and I couldn't find any solution that looks good.
    I encountered multiple issues with both Distance Field Shaodws and Cascaded Shadow Maps:
    • Cascaded Shadow Maps (CSMs) turn every shadowing into dynamic within the Dynamic Shadow Range
      • Baked Soft Shadows (Area Shadows) are only soft when they are out of the Range
        • Baked Shadows should stay baked, even in the CSMs
        • Only dynamic Objects should be put into the CSMs (isn't that the actual purpose of them anyway?)
    • Distance Field Shadows are rendered behind the CSMs, which doesn't really make sense to me
      • DFSs have the advantage that they are also soft/have the ability to appear soft. Having Soft Shadows is more important when I am near the shadow, not when I am far away(= behind the CSMs) from it







    Soft Shadows can really improve the appearance of the scene, but I only manage to make them without CSMs and without DFSs (or they only appear far away, where they absolutely don't matter anymore)

    My suggestion:
    Allow the developer to change the order of Shadowing.

    Distance Field Shadows before (near the Camera) Cascaded Shadow Maps


    Baked Shadows should not disappear when I am in the CSMs either, it destroys the purpose of Precomputed Shadows.

    #2
    I'm curious, is your light Static or Stationary?
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      #3
      Stationary, otherwhise I wouldn't have dynamic shadows

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        #4
        a Static Light will still give you dynamic shadows on movable objects, which I think is what you're looking for
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        Developer of Elium - Prison Escape

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          #5
          Static lights don't affect dynamic objects at all except for the light probes.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Chosker View Post
            a Static Light will still give you dynamic shadows on movable objects, which I think is what you're looking for
            Not really.

            I want to have Baked Shadows (Soft shadows) together with CSMs or DFFs. But I can either have dynamic Shadows or static shadows. Not both at the same time within a certain range.
            There is the possibility to don't using CSMs or DFSs, but then the Dynamic Shadows disappear at a very low distance already.
            Last edited by Raildex_; 04-05-2018, 11:34 AM.

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              #7
              my bad, stationary it is then.
              and this switch to CSM happens with static objects? if so then it really is a bad behavior
              Follow me on Twitter!
              Developer of Elium - Prison Escape

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                #8
                Yeah, it'd be nice to keep Baked shadows together with CSM dynamic shadows. I mean they work with regular dynamic shadows, too...

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                  #9
                  You can enable percentage closer soft shadows to help with that. I think the console command was something like r.shadowfilteringmethod, set it to 1 to enable PCSS

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                    #10
                    You can use inset shadows for movable objects if you do not want to use CSM.

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                      #11
                      I also noticed something
                      (Working without DFSs and without CSMs):


                      Stationary Directional Light Shadows of Moveable objects disappear always at the same distance, regardless of Fade/Min/Max Resolution and radiusthreshold.
                      This is not the case for a moveable Directional Light. The console vars only work for Directional Moveable Lights!

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