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Pixelated shadow from masked material :/ Static Light

Hi! Here is a problem: 3 meshes, which makes stained glass window. One of them creates metal wires and it is Masked Blend Mode. 2nd one is transparent color and 3rd one is color+normal+highlights.

I'm wondering if there is any solution to boost shadow from 1st mesh (metal wires), that it would be less pixelated.

-meshes are 2k light res. -flor is 2k res. -light is directional (static)

Thanks in advance.

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asked Dec 02 '16 at 09:13 AM in Rendering

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2 answers: sort voted first

Due to how the masking works you'll likely not get the best results from that alone from what I can see. There may be some material tricks I'm not aware of.

But, if you don't want to change the content and only want to adjust the lighting for the scene you can adjust the source radius on the light to give a softer fall off for the mask.

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SourceRadius: 10 alt text

This can help with the falloff and give the softer shadowing you would get for something spreading out across a floor surface for the shadow bake.


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soureradius.png (492.3 kB)
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answered Dec 02 '16 at 06:40 PM

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Tim Hobson ♦♦ STAFF
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avatar image maSZynke Dec 03 '16 at 12:00 PM

Im newbie UE4 and i could be wrong, but i can not set source radius option in direct light. Am i right?

avatar image Tim Hobson ♦♦ STAFF Dec 05 '16 at 03:12 PM

Source Radius for a Movable (direct) light can only be adjusted when using Distance Field Shadowing when enabled for the project. Otherwise, with movable lights, you cannot get this soft falloff shadowing.

avatar image Einz Jan 05 '17 at 10:05 PM

Tim, I would like to ask similar question because you know the problem.

I am also using the stained glass window and I would like to achieve good quality shadows for the "metal framing" of the glass. I do use three planes for each window (with translucent material, emmisive colored shadow material, and metal framing masked material) and two directional lights in the scene, one light is static for the colored shadows, and other is stationary for proper cascade shadow. I have a problem with that cascaded shadow because it is defined by the distance from the camera, and with several windows I am able only to adjust the cascaded shadow distance to work only with one of them.

as shown on the screenshot, first window is having decent looking shadow, and the one further from the camera is not having any. alt text

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avatar image Tim Hobson ♦♦ STAFF Jan 09 '17 at 07:52 PM


This is the trade-off when using cascaded shadows. You get a set distance for the cascades to be spread across. You have use the additional settings for Num Dynamic Shadow Cascades, to which you can have 10 but you have to manually type that in and it is more expensive to use, and Distribution Exponent which adjusts how the cascades are distributed across the cascades.

For dynamic shadowing you cannot have perfect shadows across all cascades. These are distance based and will reduce in quality the further away you are so as to keep performance from being that of an offline renderer.

Clever idea about using dual directional lights here, but I suspect you'll pay for it in the end with performance. It's not intended to use more than one in the scene at a time. Something to keep an eye out for!

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Do you have a Lightmass Importance Volume in your scene? Without one Lightmass will still bake lights but with very low quality. If you don't have one add it around anything that needs to be lit well (anything that's not far background). This will also increase light bake times.

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answered Dec 02 '16 at 05:32 PM

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avatar image maSZynke Dec 04 '16 at 02:17 PM

YES, there is one.

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