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Shadows not working in Orthographic

This is a continuation of the forum post i wrote for Tim Hobson: https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?54610-Unreal-Engine-4-7-Preview&p=227189&viewfull=1#post227189

Relevant info:

  • My game is simply barebones at the moment, no complex logic with regard to rendering.

  • My Directional light source is set to Moveable. Tried Static and Stationary as well.

  • Tried turning on and off many settings in the light source

  • My camera is connected by a spring arm to a movable sphere, hooked up to wsad (It's an RTS game).

  • I'm on SM5.0

  • Shadows work perfect in perspective mode.

  • Engine scalability set to Epic (I'm on a gtx 980).

  • point light works perfect. So does spot light

Thats about all the information i can think of. Let me know if you find anything Tim Hobson. Thanks

Product Version: Not Selected
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asked Feb 24 '15 at 01:13 AM in Bug Reports

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avatar image Tim Hobson ♦♦ STAFF Feb 24 '15 at 02:44 AM

Hey Makotech222,

I've gone ahead and assigned myself and moved this over to Bug Reports to see if we can try and track down what's going on. I'll take a look at this as soon as I can. :)

avatar image Tim Hobson ♦♦ STAFF Feb 24 '15 at 07:59 PM

Hey Makotech222,

I'm still looking into this one for you, but could you update to the final release of 4.7 that came out today and let me know?


avatar image Makotech222 Feb 25 '15 at 12:42 AM

Just updated the engine and tried it out. Still have the same issue. Tried lighting quality on High instead of preview and that didn't help either. Are you seeing the same issue as I am?

avatar image stansdad Feb 17 '18 at 09:02 PM

Just spent 3 weeks trying to figure out why I don't have any shadows in my game, banging my head against the wall repeatedly. Turns out it was this issue all along. 4.18.2. Please fix it.

avatar image ullmatta Mar 01 '18 at 02:23 PM

Please don't remove the orthographic camera completely! I'm still using it. 2D is going to be in vouge soon again, I'm sure. Just look at "no truce with the furries."

avatar image inthon Oct 01 '18 at 09:30 PM

Please Epic, let us know why this hasn't been fixed yet. Last thing we heard this bug was not a priority. This is the highest rated bug and it's still backlogged. It's almost 4 years old! Why do you even have a voting system if our priority is not your priority?

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Hi Makotech222,

I've reported this issue with UE-11026. When I tested this I tested with 4.6, 4.7, and our internal build of what will become 4.8. This was happening in all three and is not isolated to being an issue directly related to 4.7. I was able to see that using stationary lights cause clipping artifacts. If the directional was made to be movable from stationary it would lose all shadows. When going back to stationary these shadows would remain removed until lighting was rebuilt.

Here is the video of my results with testing in 4.6: https://www.dropbox.com/s/sf0z5k8vdnzdx3g/OrthographicShadows.mp4?dl=0

Thanks again for reporting and I will update once the ticket has been resolved, however there is no ETA for when this will be assessed by an engineer.


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answered Feb 26 '15 at 10:25 PM

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Tim Hobson ♦♦ STAFF
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avatar image Makotech222 Feb 26 '15 at 11:24 PM

Very interesting results. Thanks for following up. I don't mind waiting for a fix, as long as it's in the queue I'll be happy.

avatar image Reality-X Dec 02 '15 at 03:18 PM

has there been any progress on this, because i think we are seeing the same behavior in our game on 4.9.2

avatar image Tim Hobson ♦♦ STAFF Dec 02 '15 at 06:21 PM

This ticket is currently backlogged at the moment. I know it gets old hearing, but once a fix has been submitted I will be able to post back here with more details and a release of the engine that this will be included in. Unfortunately there are only a limited number of developers vs the bugs that have to be prioritized.

I did just try this in our what will be our 4.11 build and I'm not seeing an issue like before though. While that doesn't mean it is fixed, maybe it's improved there.

avatar image fanzypantz Feb 07 '16 at 10:50 PM

Im on the 4.11 preview and this is my downwards facing camera in orthographic view. As you can see there are only shadows on one part of the screen, any tips on why?

alt text

avatar image Tim Hobson ♦♦ STAFF Feb 08 '16 at 10:01 PM

It's still part of the same issue. It's dependent on the view angle. For instance, using the Third Person template the shadow doesn't work at regular view angles for third person, but adjusting the camera to be overhead will allow the shadow to be visible.

This is ticket is still backlogged at the moment though.

avatar image tahmidk15 Apr 10 '16 at 07:43 PM

Its 4.11.1, still this problem exist. If this problem persists after next patch/update, i am switching to Unity. Frustrated by the orthographic camera.

avatar image desert_racer Jul 14 '16 at 10:56 AM

Are there any updates on this?

avatar image Tim Hobson ♦♦ STAFF Jul 14 '16 at 11:37 AM


It's still marked as backlogged, so no update at this time really.

avatar image tahmidk15 Apr 19 '16 at 03:47 PM

alt text

Here is comparison of unity's orthographic camera + directional light vs UE4 (4.11.1). Epic is just a pathetic company, half engine, full frustration over lighting and shadow.

avatar image RVillani Jul 27 '16 at 03:11 AM

Unreal Issue Tracker

Please, go there and vote, so Epic can know how important this is for us.

avatar image jonaspincky Oct 08 '16 at 03:05 PM

Also have this bug. This is extremely important for my project! :(

avatar image vle07 Oct 14 '16 at 03:39 AM

Using 4.13.1 and shadows are still not visible through orthographic cameras. You can almost get around this issue by using a perspective camera with a very small FOV and then moving the camera very far away to see enough of your scene. Are there any better workarounds?

avatar image LordDMasters Oct 24 '16 at 04:28 PM

HI there, Im in the same situation, I tried the same solution than vle07 but its not what i want, I hope in 4.14 they fix that

avatar image Tim Hobson ♦♦ STAFF Oct 24 '16 at 06:10 PM


Currently not planned to be added to 4.14. It's backlogged at the moment and I'm not aware of any significant work planned for the Orthographic view it may be a while yet before this is fixed. With full source availability, you do have the option to implement the fixes yourself as well.

avatar image Endru6 Nov 22 '16 at 07:55 PM

Why all the 52 votes that issue had has been reset?

avatar image Piranhi Jan 19 '17 at 08:05 PM

I could really do with a fix for this as well. Voted, but @Tim, do you know if anyone is looking at this yet?

Cheers, Chris

avatar image Tim Hobson ♦♦ STAFF Jan 20 '17 at 03:16 PM



Sorry Chris, but the issue is still backlogged. Maybe one day. The reality, also is, that not all features/bug will be added or fixed by Epic. With source availability, we do leave open the option for teams to resolve some of these on their own projects as needed. Unfortunately, not every bug or feature will be addressed by Epic.

avatar image Piranhi Jan 20 '17 at 03:27 PM

@Tim I completely understand, no problem :) - I've voted for it anyway, so we'll see.

Unfortunately it's not the kind of thing we can fix as we don't have a programmer (there's only two of us). We'll come up with a work around for now.

avatar image Luiz Sotero Jun 30 '17 at 12:15 AM

This is still backlogged? Daammmmn son. Everytime I try to get a isometric style game idea into UE4 this bums me out and make me throw the project into Unity -_-

avatar image Andrei Despinoiu Aug 20 '17 at 08:32 AM

Here's the "Side Scroller Template" example project from UE 4.17.1, with an orthographic camera:

alt text

You can barely make out the platforms. You can't even tell that the character is standing on something!

I tried building the light (light quality set to "Production") and not even the "baked" shadows show up. Theses "baked" shadows are supposed to be greyscale textures placed on UV Channel 2, right? Then why aren't these "textures" being displayed in orthographic view?

screenshot.jpg (202.4 kB)
avatar image stromchin Aug 20 '17 at 08:55 AM

I believe this is a completely different scenario. Even if the orthographic shadows were working. You are using the orthographic camera from the side, so you can't even see the surfaces that are receiving the shadows. You can't see the floor because the camera is completely parallel to the ground surfaces. To see them you would have to angle the camera a little bit.

I haven't tested this bug in a long time, so I don't know if it's been fixed, but I doubt it.

avatar image Andrei Despinoiu Aug 20 '17 at 01:52 PM

There's a default directional light (from the "Side Scroller Template") in the scene. Shadows are being rendered both in the editor viewport AND with the camera set to "Perspective" when I click the "Play" button, but as soon as I hit "Play" with the camera in "Ortographic", everything looks washed out, because of the missing shadows.

Here, I rotated the camera by 15° on Y and Z, for a better look:

alt text

alt text

I even tried setting the render output to Forward Rendering (from the project settings). It didn't add any shadows.

I feel like I'm maybe highjacking an older thread from 2015... But the OP's issue still doesn't seem solved in 2017, in Unreal Engine 4.17.1.

avatar image stromchin Aug 20 '17 at 02:22 PM

Yes that's sort of the point on this whole thread. It's still not fixed. And it probably won't be fixed unless Epic makes a game that uses orthographic cameras in 3D. But I thought that Forward Rendering would make it work Another thing to check might be that your camera is too far. Try setting it closer. Another workaround is to use a very very narrow field of view, but this also requires the camera to be farther and you have to adjust the shadows accordingly.

Another non-optimal solution would be to create your own shadows, in the same way that epic did in the Showdown demo. It's actually good for the performance, but it won't look as good as actual shadows. I can't find the description of how they did it, but basically using decals under the characters feet that changed the darkness according to foot distance to the floor.

But yeah, in general, this bug is sad :( I wouldn't count on epic fixing it. Someone with a good knowledge of rendering has to come to fix it.

avatar image Andrei Despinoiu Aug 21 '17 at 01:38 PM

Using 4.17.1 and shadows are still not visible through orthographic cameras.

Setting the camera to Perspective with a low FOV (something like 10) and moving the camera waaay back produces terrible results: blurry shadows (even with Lighting Quality set to "Production"), and the shadows look warped because they're perspective shadows, not "orthographic shadows".

Epic, please fix this. This thread is 2.5 years old! Just like my (soon to be abandoned, apparently) 2.5D side scroller project that looks like absolute dog turd, completely flat. Come on! If you guys are not going to fix this, then you might as well remove the Side Scroller/Side Scroller 2D/Top Down templates.

avatar image OmicronNEGA Dec 03 '17 at 09:11 AM

Guess what? 4.18.1 still not working. C'mon Epic, please fix that, or just like Andrei Despinoiu says remove these nonfunctional templates. This is so sad, really sad.

avatar image Ixiguis Jun 13 '18 at 09:27 PM

Just adding that getting shadows in orthographic is quite important for me as well.

avatar image inthon Jul 22 '18 at 08:31 PM

4.20 and it's till not working. Please fix this.

avatar image inedible.red Sep 03 '18 at 04:26 PM

Second most voted issue to fix and almost 4 years later .... still broken. I'm not a numbers guy but maybe it's really hard or impossible to implement into the engine correctly ?

avatar image Litruv Sep 09 '18 at 03:10 AM

and now it's the most upvoted thing, I don't think they even look at that one..

avatar image Bitwaker Dec 03 '18 at 02:24 PM

it seems to be broken even for 4.21. This is the most voted issue... I think it is extremely hard to fix otherwise they would have already provided a patch. Damn...

avatar image phihl333 Dec 26 '18 at 06:09 PM

is there an earlier version where this is not broken? just need to render off a satellite map of my whole environment?

avatar image NATO_chrisjm Mar 29 '19 at 03:26 PM

Any update on this?

avatar image Bitwaker Jun 24 '19 at 11:54 AM

I'm seeing that the issue is marked for 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 4.14, 4.20 but not for 4.21, 4.22 and 4.23 do they fixed it?!

avatar image Vastiny Jul 02 '19 at 05:17 PM

Still not fixed, no

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