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Shadows

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Please note that this is a BETA version of the document. All information presented is correct but we are working on improving the details.

Introduction

In this documentation, we will talk about how you can add and customize shadows in your scene.

When talking about shadows we can differentiate between two kinds: static and dynamic. They require a different workflow and will give different results. We will discuss the possibilities.

Static Shadows

As the name shows, these shadows are static meaning that they can not be moved. Usually, they are calculated into a lightmap. These shadows are more realistic and less heavy on performance.
In this picture, we are using lightmaps to capture the shadows of the leaves.

Dynamic Shadows 

Dynamic shadows can be moved and their intensity can be changed. In Aximmety if you wish to have dynamic shadow you need to use dynamic lights too.



The following Dynamic lights can be used to generate shadows:
- Spot Light
- Spot Light GW
- Directional Light
- Directional Light GW
First, you need to turn on the Cast Shadow property.

You can also characterize the shadow that they cast.
- you can decrease/increase the intensity of the light this will also decrease/increase the intensity of the shadow.
- You can change the resolution of the shadow by setting the Shadow Map Size property, a higher number means a bigger resolution
- you can set how near or far the shadow appears using the Shadow Near Plane and Shadow Far Plane properties.
- you can also use the Shadow Customized BB property to adjust where the shadows appear.
- If you find that the shadows have zig-zaggy artifacts you can increase the Shadow Antialias property to reduce it

- Shadow Softness property can be adjusted to make the edges of the shadow softer
- Shadow Soft Quality makes the blurring of the shadow nicer
- Shadow Bleed Reduc makes the shadow appear darker
Spot Light GW and Directional Light GW have some additional parameters
- GW Shadow Technique Type
lets you set the basic characteristic of the shadow
 - Hard - will produce hard shadows
 - PCF - Tries to eliminate hard zig-zaggy edges of shadows
 - PCSS - The shadow gets softer with distance
- Shadow Light Size can be used to alter the shadow cast by the light, increasing this value will make      the shadow softer


Ambient Occlusion

Ambient Occlusion(AO) or contact shadow appears in tight spaces where less light can enter.
For example: around the sphere and at the back of the wall

When using static shadows AO is usually baked into the lightmap itself.
In some special cases, you may end up getting AO in a separate map you can use any of our shaders that have AO in its name, for example, PBR_IBL_Norm_Light_AO.xshad

If you are using dynamic lights or you think the baked AO is not strong enough you can use one of our screenspace AO modules: Ambient Occlusion / Ambient Occlusion GW
You can learn about how they work here.

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