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How to decrease shadow quality for "movable" lights

I know that the shadow map resolution affects shadow quality, but how do I decrease the shadow quality for movable lights, thanks in advance :)

Product Version: UE 4.10
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asked Jun 26 '16 at 01:35 PM in Rendering

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Nawaf Al-Rawachy
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avatar image Krxtopher Jun 26 '16 at 01:54 PM

Nawaf, can you describe what your larger goal is in lowering shadow quality? Are you trying to improve performance? Trying to fix a visual problem? Something else? There are lots of things that can be done to effect shadow quality so I want to be sure we understand the exact problem you're trying to solve.

avatar image Nawaf Al-Rawachy Jun 26 '16 at 02:07 PM

Thanks for the reply, I am trying to lower the the performance cost and make movable shadows a bit softer, they are too sharp.

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Well, unlike Lightmass baked shadows, lowering the quality of dynamic shadows won't make them softer. If you want soft, high perfo

You may have noticed in the editor that you can change the shadow quality of dynamic shadows by changing the value of Settings > Engine Scalability Settings > Shadows. Your choices are "Low", "Med", "High", and "Epic". Selecting any of these will temporarily apply some new config settings related to shadows. But you can also make these settings permanent - or even tweak them - by adding the appropriate shadow-related config properties to [Your Game]/Config/DefaultEngine.ini. These config settings should go under the [/Script/Engine.RendererSettings] section. IMPORTANT: After changing any settings in DefaultEngine.ini you'll need to restart the editor or preview the game in standalone mode to see them applied!

For a list of the shadow-related config properties and the specific values used for the "Low", "Med", "High", and "Epic" presets see this documentation (scroll to the "Shadows - sg.ShadowQuality" section): https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Performance/Scalability/ScalabilityReference/

So as an example, if you wanted to always have your app use shadow quality that matched the editor's "Med" preset you would add the following to your DefaultEngine.ini...

 r.LightFunctionQuality=1
 r.ShadowQuality=2
 r.Shadow.CSM.MaxCascades=1
 r.Shadow.MaxResolution=1024
 r.Shadow.RadiusThreshold=0.05
 r.Shadow.DistanceScale=0.7
 r.Shadow.CSM.TransitionScale=0.25

If any of this is unclear don't hesitate to ask me for clarification.

Another alternative if you want both soft and cheap (high performing) shadows is to use the new Capsule Shadows feature that was introduced in 4.11. Unfortunately they aren't well documented yet, but there's some good detail in this answer thread to get you started including a Twitch video that walks through what they are...https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/359384/anyone-know-how-to-get-capsule-shadows-to-work.html

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answered Jun 26 '16 at 02:24 PM

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Krxtopher
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avatar image Nawaf Al-Rawachy Jun 26 '16 at 02:35 PM

Thank you very much! much appreciated :)

avatar image Krxtopher Jun 26 '16 at 02:37 PM

Nawaf, I just edited the answer a bit to include info on Capsule Shadows. Wanted to make sure you saw that. If my post addressed your question, please consider marking it as the correct answer. Thanks!

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