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Why are there black patches on my terrain?


While I have searched and read about various issues related to black areas appearing on terrain, I haven't found one yet that looks like my issue. If this has been covered in a thread, please point me to it, and my apologies for asking again.

I am attaching a screen of what I see. This was taken right after a lighting rebuild. The edges of the black patches are sharp initially, but if I use any sculpting tool and just click once on a black patch, the edges soften. Very small black patches may even disappear with this, but never with the large patches.

-Galt text

Product Version: UE 4.10
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asked Dec 26 '15 at 08:18 PM in Bug Reports

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avatar image Designer102 Dec 26 '15 at 08:53 PM

I think those are part of the UE4 shadow system, a good way to test this is to put a light where the black spots are and see if they get lighter. If you want them not to be there, try moving the sun/light source above the mountains so that there is no shadows being reflected on the mountains.

avatar image Galadhlinn Dec 26 '15 at 11:28 PM

Thanks for the reply, Designer102

This makes sense and seems obvious now that I look at, but will the shadows always be black like this, or are there ways to tweak settings or post-processing that will make the shadows more natural?


avatar image Designer102 Dec 28 '15 at 08:55 PM

As far as my experience goes, the shadows stay this way unless you move the light source. There might be some settings you can change so the shadows don't look so sharp, other than that sadly there does not seem to be another way to make them less dark.

avatar image Galadhlinn Dec 29 '15 at 03:42 PM

OK, guess I'll be placing a lot of lights! :/

Thanks again for the replies


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Hello Galadhlinn,

So if you want to brighten the shadows and add some ambient fill light, try adding a 'Skylight' to help reduce the contrast between your landscape's materials and the shadows. You will notice a difference immediately.

You can also tweak the 'Auto-Exposure' setting within the Post Process Volume to brighten the dark areas like shadows when you enter into the area. It will automatically adjust the brightness within the given area based on the parameters set within the 'Auto-Exposure' option.

Landscape with Directional Light Only

alt text

Landscape with Skylight Added

alt text

As you can see there is a clear different as soon as you add a 'Skylight' actor.

If you have further questions please let me know.


Andrew Hurley

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answered Dec 31 '15 at 04:13 PM

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