help? need soft shadows

Using Blender 2.35. I’m trying to get soft shadows on a basic scene that I have made with blocks in it. The spotlight seems to be the only type of light that will allow me to soften shadows. It will only let me do this if I deselect ‘ray shado’ and select ‘buf.shado’. When I render the scene with buf.shado, my screen is simply black.

Could anyone tell me how to get soft shadows? thanks for any help.

Area light allows soft raytraced shadows.

The problem I was having was that my clipstart and clipend numbers weren’t what I needed. I’m having a new problem though.

No matter what type of light I use, whenI find a way to make the shadows soft, they become soft in areas close to the shape as well as far away from it. It looks like the shadow suddenly begins away from the shape, when in real life, it would really begin right beside the shape.

Sounds as if the object that casts the shadow isn’t right next to the object that the shadow is cast on.

I thought that too. I made the ‘floor’ plane come up on the z-axis so high, that portions of the blocks were underneath it.
Still, the shadows aren’t appearing as they should

adjust clip start and clip end correctly, if that’s not helping, decrease the shadow map bias value.


I have adjusted start and clip ends correctly and the scene IS rendering now.
My problem is a new one:

for some reason, no matter what settings I change (including soft) the shadows are not rendering realistically. I wish I could post a picture here, but I don’t how to do that.
I’ll try to explain it so that if someone understands this problem, they might help me.

first I should say that rayshadow makes clean shadows of the cubes.
Buf.Shadow is what I’m having the problem with.

the shadows that each cube gives off from a buf.shado rendering are incorrect.
the shading is very soft, and almost absent, up close beside the front-lower areas of the shapes
I’m going to try and draw this with text -very primitive sketch.

|_______<<<that is the correct shadow from a tall shape (viewed from a profile)
below is the incorrect shadow (the one kind that buf.shado is rendering)
| . _ ____

I hope that that makes some sense…

When you post qustions like this make sure to tell us what your current settings are otherwise all we can do is guess. I’m pretty sure @ndy gave you the correct answer – set your bias setting for the spot to 0.01 (the minimum)

Here is a copy of the blend file for the above picture – you can look at my spot settings.


thank you greybeard. My Bias was set too high.

also, if you want the shadows to start sharp, then spread out nicely, you can use the area light. This gives a softer and usually more realistic look. It takes a lot longer to render though since it uses raytracing. You can lower the samples though for test renders.