Can Eevee shadows look like Cycle shadows?

I’m trying to recreate my Cycles studio lighting setup in Eevee. The render times are amazing, but the shadows are lacking. I’m not sure what else to add to get similar shadows Cycles creates. See the attached image for comparison, particularly around the chair legs.

in Blender 2.8 I created an Iridescence Volume and Reflection Cubemap around the scene and see shadows cast from one area light close to the model chair, but not the other 2 area lights on the sides…

Are there new controls, or something I should be adding? I played around with Contact Shadows but it didn’t seem to help. I’m using 2.8 Beta.




no. cycles shadows are raytraced, so in eevee you’re only ever going to get an approximation.

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Unfortunately, no. Cycles will always look more realistic, especially shadows. You could enable Ambient Occlusion to avoid that hovering of objects.
I wonder if it’s possible to bake raytraced shadows.

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Yes, but Cycles. Fully white diffuse material will bake “shadows only”. Then multiply that to the actual texture in Eevee. Diffuse lighting/shadows are view angle independent, so I believe it could work (never tested by me).

Is this magic then?
Temporal Resolve Pathtracer 3 (@ shadertoy)
Why not helping EEVEE with a path tracer, since it’s already there???

I don’t understand? The entire point of Eevee is that it’s not a path tracer. We already have that in Cycles.

Definitely not magic, just a naive temporal denoiser running on a basic path tracer. Irrelevant to shadow quality in eevee.

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So far I’ve had trouble getting any decent shadows with Eeevee at least in situations where the eye “knows what to expect” rather than sort of general patterns if you see what I mean. I think maybe the demonstrations we’ve all seen showed models Eevee looks good with. It doesn’t to me seem to be quite the magic it initially appeared to be.

Or maybe I’m doing something wrong.

Can’t you bake shadow maps in eevee?

I don’t believe you can bake anything in eevee right now.

Yes, Eevee can:) I would try some approximation with contact shadows and disable shadow maps via clip distance, please have a look at the images/settings:


i think you should pay attension to “Bias” parameter, because Eevee render engine does not use ray-tracing, so use “Bias” can avoid some shadow artifacts, but it also make shadow far away from mesh objects, i usually adjust the “bias” to 0.1(default value is 1), in “contact shadow” , bias value adjust to 0.01, certainly the “bias” value should adjust according to the mesh objects’ size.

I know you can definitely bake indirect lighting with irradiance probes

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But, if it fails miserably with shadows, reflections, refractions, GI… why not using a help from PT? Saves hours of setting, fiddling around, fixing issues… and then still, a flicker occurs, a protrusion – damn precision issues :roll_eyes: > try better :grin:

Sorry, I thought you meant like cycles baking to a texture.

Yeah I suppose you could have an optional shadow pass. I just wonder how much you really want to add samples and noise and all that goes with it into the real time renderer.

thanks for all the feedback. Michal Franczak from Evermotion just posted a nice article about migrating from Cycles to Eevee and it has some ideas on some lighting settings.

I’m going to try to messing around with more settings…

thanks, @polygonsoul, for the settings ideas

Maybe it’s worth noting that I often use a hybrid approach – using more than one render-engine at the same time. One thing that “good ol’ BI” does extremely well is directional-light and shadows. Yes, it will navigate your trusty Compositor through the Land of Mordor, “where the shadows lie.” It can provide you with a Shadow layer, and even a “shadow-only spotlight.” (In this case you don’t care what it thinks about “light,” only “shadows.” As in, “where exactly are they?”)

Obviously in this case "it’s a hack," but sometimes hacks can be quite useful. Eevee does most of the work – very quickly – then BI gives you shadow-data, and in the compositor you can bring the two pieces of information together to get the shot into the can.

Of course now, you would need a very hybrid approach, using blender 2.79 and 2.8 to render different passes, and with the lack of backwards compatibility, you’ve got an interesting asset management issue.