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Author Topic: Scenery Shadow (4 messages, Page 1 of 1)
Moderators: Dennis

Joined: Aug 2, 2012

Posted: Aug 10, 2012 11:17 PM    Msg. 1 of 4       
I have a little problem, I'll try not to make a TL;DR but probably will anyway

I made a massive dragon for map. REALLY big. The idea was that it would cast a shadow over a good portion of the map. I didn't see any shadows with debug lightmaps, and I figured it was just that (debug lightmaps). So I left it all night running final lightmaps, and there were still no shadows. So I went and made a box map to put my dragon in and see if it was casting shadows. It IS... But only up to a certain height. Basically, the shadow makes it seem as if though its head was cut off. It's not the collision model or anything because I also tried lowering the dragon way into the ground so that only a small part of the neck and its head would show, and when I rendered shadows of that, the head did show (but the body was under the level)

Does anybody have an idea of how to fix this? Or am I better off just including it in the level geometry? Oh, and last question, if you set a surface as render only (so that it doesn't have to comply with sealed world rules) does it still cast shadows?

Your help and expertise will be appreciated!! :D

Here are a couple pics of the shadows. The shadows in the grassy map are from the mountains :(
Edited by Wolftacular on Aug 10, 2012 at 11:18 PM

Joined: Sep 10, 2011

ᶘ ᵒᴥᵒᶅ

Posted: Aug 11, 2012 01:07 PM    Msg. 2 of 4       
Quote: --- Original message by: waffles
The collision geometry itself has nothing to do with shadows. the actual model and bitmap transparency deal with lighting. Seeing as your getting cutoffs, try raising the skybox higher in 3ds max, the top of the dragon may be clipping through the actual skybox, seeing as its so large. Also depending on what direction the "sun" is in the sky tag, is how the shadow gets cast, you wont have much shadow coverage if the sun is more-so above the dragon than say behind it.

start with that

Joined: Aug 2, 2012

Posted: Aug 12, 2012 01:25 AM    Msg. 3 of 4       
I'm willing to bet the collision model does play a role with the shadow casting since no shadows were rendered when I first made the scenery tag and added no collision geometry to it. Also, I remember once I tried to scale the dragon down a bit, but only changed the gbxmodel tag (didn't re-do collision) and the shadows didn't change (that is, they remained big even though the visual model of the dragon was a lot smaller)

Either way, I've definitely played with the sun position. Notice the results on the one with the dirt ground; how the head cuts off in the shadow. This happens no matter where the sun is placed. I tried raising the skybox by like 5 times and that didn't change anything, though it was a good suggestion.

Playing around with the sky tags made me realize there is some sort of "ray length" option under the lens flare sub-category in sky tags. Could this be related? Maybe I need longer rays for the shadows to reach the bottom.

Something else I'm going to try is add some sort of floating surface in the level geometry in front of the dragon's head and see if the shadows render onto that; might help me narrow down the problem.
Edited by Wolftacular on Aug 12, 2012 at 01:27 AM

Joined: Aug 2, 2012

Posted: Aug 12, 2012 09:21 PM    Msg. 4 of 4       
Solved! :D

The problem was in the sky tag! The thing I mentioned about "ray length" was kind of off; I wasn't home when I made that reply. Now that I'm on the computer I checked again and the value is called "test distance", and it is under the radiosity sub-category in the lights category of the sky tag. Sounds like a mouthful!

Anyway, the initial value was 50 world units. I doubled it to 100, and now the shadows show up fine! ;u;

Rawr! Now I have to figure out what's up with that weird block on the shadow, but I'll save that for another day. Thanks all!


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