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Character no shadow from body and shadow flicker

hi there!

I got a strange problem with a skeletal mesh I imported into UE4 from maya. it's basically a character with a few different combined meshes (head, hair, body, clothes) and I can't seem to get any shadow from the body and the clothes. basically right now only the head (including the hair) is casting a shadow. looks like I chopped it off at the neck lol.

my second problem is the alpha mapped hair.
the shadow that's being cast by the hair onto the head/neck is flickering like crazy. all the other shadows on the character are fine, so I reckon it's because of the alpha texture.

any idea what could be going on and can anybody recommend a good way to fix this??
there was a physics asset created on import btw (re no body shadow).

thanks a lot in advance! :)


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asked Jan 13 '15 at 08:01 PM in Rendering

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avatar image HSbF6 Jan 14 '15 at 05:22 PM

ok I seem to be answering my own questions here. I did a ton of forum/hub browsing and there's literally no way to do hair right now, correct?? wtf?
please correct me if I'm wrong, but I read that shader masking only takes values of either 0 or 1, translucency doesn't work because of depth sorting issues and neither tressFX nor hairworks are currently implemented.
whaaaaat ? like really? :/

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ok so I re-imported the character to test some apex stuff and that actually solved the shadow problem lol. random. sorry about that.

BUT I still have this problem with the flickering shadows coming from the hair transparency. actually I'd like to ask you something:

If I set my material to 'masked' and plug in my hair alpha, all the edges are super sharp. I softened all the edges to get nice transitions between strands, but they turn out razor sharp. However, the hair lights correctly (self-shadowing and flickering shadow on the character).

If I turn the material to translucent the edges looks super nice, but the hair doesnt cast/receive any shadow???
also there's some holes in the hair.. kinda like you're looking through the hair onto the backside of another strand.

so translucency seems to be out of the question as well.

how to people normally hook up hair materials? seems to be the most basic thing in the world to me, but I can't get it to work properly right now :/


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answered Jan 14 '15 at 01:17 AM

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avatar image Tim Hobson ♦♦ STAFF Jan 21 '15 at 02:58 PM

I'm glad you've got the shadow issue under control.

With regards to Hair materials you're probably going to run into a little bit of trouble at the moment. There are plans to make this better in the future though as mentioned by our Trello Board UE4 Road Map (https://trello.com/c/IlsnH7Yl/25-hair-fur-shading).

With a masked material you will only get the hard edge. With Translucency in the editor right now there are improvements that still need to be made to get the best results. Some people have managed to do some decent work, but it's not as easy to use translucency with deferred rendering as it was with UE3/UDK's forward rendering.

The best solution I can offer at the moment would be to look at what others have managed to do in the forums and AnswerHub.


Click on the Answers or the Forums to only look at those areas.



avatar image HSbF6 Jan 21 '15 at 04:34 PM

hey tim,

thanks for the reply. I could never solve my shadow flickering issue (shadow from hair cast onto body) unfortunately and I couldnt find anything on the answerhub about it;
I'll do some more R&D on it at some point.. for now it'll have to do. x)

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