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Softer shading from light?

Hello there,

Is it possible to get some more control over shading, something like this; (Video). What I'm talking about is the 'Shade Width' and 'Lighting Bias' shown between 0:10 - 0:27 I mainly want to be able to control the bias for my purpose.

I did play around with different lights but couldn't really find anything so unless i missed it what would be the best way to do this? material, post process, Light function, or maybe there are console commands for this? surely this can be changed somehow (fingers crossed)

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asked Nov 07 '14 at 08:49 PM in Rendering

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avatar image AndrewHurley Nov 11 '14 at 07:40 PM

Hello Creameshake,

So there is actually a setting named "Shadow Bias" and "Shadow Filter Sharpen" which can help control the what is and is not having shadows cast on them, and also the sharpness of those shadows. Here is an image as reference to help you find where these settings are located :)

Shadow Bias and Shadow Filter Sharpen

alt text

If you are looking to have even more control over your shadows when it comes to a fully dynamic light, there is the Raytraced Shadowing technique. I posted an answer to a users question that deals with improving shadow quality that provides good documentation and steps on how to go about setting this up in your scene. Go to the bottom of the page and check it out!


Here are some images using that technique using a moveable point light that show the differences when you change the "Source Radius" values. This is what controls the overall softness of your shadows.

"Source Radius" low causing sharp shadowing

alt text

"Source Radius" higher value causing softer shadows

alt text

I hope this gets you on the right track to getting the results you want.


Andrew Hurley

avatar image Creamshake Nov 13 '14 at 08:25 PM

Thank you for your answer, but its not quite what I'm looking for, this should explain it;this

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Hello again Creamshake,

I do see what you are talking about, however what you are attempting to change is not really how a light would function on a mesh correctly. The "normal" image is how the character shadows would be accurately represented when being lit with a directional light.

Along the same lines as that, what you are attempting to do is have a global light, your directional light, on an individual object cast shadows differently than the rest of the objects in the scene. With how forward rendering works, that would not be possible, nor would it be very efficient if every object was able to have its own shadowing calculations. This would become a very expensive process on the engines processing.

There are work arounds to reduce this shadow firmness such as changing the characters material, decreasing the light's intensity, and using the RayTraced Shadow Technique mentioned earlier. Here is an example of how the intensity of the light is affecting this shadowing.

Firm Shadows with Intensity at 20.0 alt text

Softer Shadows with Intensity at 4.0 alt text

I hope this helps clarify your question.

Thank you,

Andrew Hurley

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answered Nov 13 '14 at 09:29 PM

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