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Capsule shadows not softening on indirect shadows (and other errors)

In 4.11.2 I'm trying to use capsule shadows on a skeletal mesh to create some nice, soft, indirect shadows when not in direct sunlight. I'm running into some issues, however.

  1. Lighting angle does not effect softness of indirect capsule shadows. Only effects direct shadows.

  2. I'm seeing a lot of errors as I move through the map. The direction that the shadows are being projected in seem to quickly change in a very small distance traveled.

  3. The shadows sometimes change to an erroneous direction (like straight up) resulting in the player's model becoming completely covered by the capsule shadows, or projecting strangely onto nearby geo:

indirect capsule shadows stretched on terrain indirect capsule shadows being projected only on the player model

Anyone have any idea what might be going on with my solution? Or what might be causing these errors with capsule shadows?

Product Version: UE 4.11
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asked Apr 20 '16 at 04:20 AM in Bug Reports

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Hi Brian,

There are some limitations with capsule shadows such as some self-shadowing artifacts that don't represent arbitrary meshes that well. This is something that Daniel covers in this post on the forums: https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?107617-Utilizing-Indirect-Capsule-Shadowing-for-Moveable-Objects&p=513160&viewfull=1#post513160

I've also got a page on my personal site that covers the setup and CVars that can help affect the shadowing with capsule shadows here: http://timhobsonue4.snappages.com/lighting-capsule-shadows

I've not gotten a chance to get the comparisons up at the end, but hopefully sometime soon!

Some other things to consider when troubleshooting and looking into Capsule Shadows. Since these capsule shadows are shadowed using indirect lighting cache samples it's best to enable the view mode for Volume Lighting Samples by going to Show > Visualize > Volume Lighting Samples.

With this view mode you can see where the samples are and how as you pass them they will affect the capsule shadows. You may need to increase the density of the samples to get better results without the popping.

Another thing that would be helpful to see would be how you've set up the capsule(s) for the character's capsule shadows. With your character and it's rolling ability the shadowing artifacts may also be a factor of that. I tried to test this with the Rolling ball template but I didn't see anything out of the ordinary for what I would expect.

So at this point, it would be helpful to you provide and test the following:

  • Volume Lighting Samples view when the artifacts are happening, and any settings that have been changed with this in the World Settings.

  • View of the Physics Asset used for Capsule Shadows, and whether or not using a simple sphere will reproduce the issue as well.

  • Create a new default scene level and reproduce outside of your game level. It's much easier to narrow down and diagnose things when in the simplest form and removing a ton of other factors. In this scene recreate the basic light and skylight settings to see if the issue occurs here. You may want to copy the floor mesh around a couple of times to create some direct and indirectly lit areas.

  • Also mention if you're using Indirect Capsule Shadows, Direct Capsule Shadows, or both.

Thank you!


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answered Apr 20 '16 at 03:49 PM

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Tim Hobson ♦♦ STAFF
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