Losing Control and Speed :( New Shadow System in Eevee 2.81

Hello Everyone! I’m completely fresh user of Blender and was absolutely happy with the 2.8. The release 2.81 sounds amazing, and I was overexcited to install the latest version. I do understand that brilliant developers team worked hard day and night to improve user experience and simplify the settings and stability of shadows in Eevee but my previous scenes were badly ruined. With the new system which described here in details https://wiki.blender.org/wiki/Reference/Release_Notes/2.81/Eevee I can hardly get the same results as in 2.8

So that’s my scene in Blender

And Here is an attempt to get the same result in 2.81

As you can see I finally achieved it by increasing the Render Sampling from 50 to 1000 and also by significantly reducing the size of area light which does look now rather like an ellipse but not rectangle.
Rendering speed is also dropped from 2 sec to 24 sec. Is there any hope that Eevee shadow setting of 2.8 will get back with the new releases? Or maybe you can advise me to do something else? Many thanks in advance!

I think the lights were changed to represent Cycles better. However I get great results with 30 samples in my scenes. Could you share the file with just the plane and ball?

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Hi Big Blend Thanks a lot ! Sure, here is the file https://www.dropbox.com/s/5ijhysp91r4hhy5/Eevee_test_28_simple.blend?dl=0

I think you’re right. My scenes didn’t have a simple shader, I had textures on them so I didn’t notice any difference. I’ll look into the file when I get home. Maybe this should be reported as a “bug” or at least to make a toggle possible.

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That’s the feedback from developers team https://developer.blender.org/T72039

shadow_test.blend (1.8 MB)

I changed the light source size to make it more like your image. It works better but it’s not perfect.

Because of the size of area lamp, shadow is so elongated that EEVEE can not handle it without increasing samples beyond reasonable.

But if you divide dimensions of area by 3, shadow goes less far and you need less samples and should obtain something close to render with 1000 samples with only 50.

You area lamp is far from sphere. So far that shadow is almost only made of contact shadow.
If you increase cube size to 1024 and set clip start to 14m, you can obtain a back area of shadow from shadow map. That way, you can divide thickness of contact shadow by 3 and obtain a smoother back of shadow.

So, basically, they tried to keep coherence between shadows and area size to obtain something close to Cycles shadows. Issue is that EEVEE technology limits what it is possible to do with a limited amount of samples. A grazing big area light producing a very elongated and smoothed shadow is not possible.
You have to scale down the area.
Fortunately EEVEE supports holdout in 2.81.
So, you can retrieve same reflection by compositing.