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Foliage Lighting/Shadows Issue

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SopheeJay polycounter lvl 2
Hi all :)

Working on some foliage at the moment and I can't for the life of me figure out what's best to do with my grass.
I'm struggling to produce decent cast shadows without the back of the alpha showing too dark or the planes seeming to shadow onto each other.
Here's where I'm at currently as well as the material setup:

Both are using the same material, with cast shadows on, only difference is the left is a moveable mesh and the right is static.

The effect I'd like is more the one to the left but I can only seem to achieve this by making the mesh moveable or stationary (which I assume shouldn't be necessary as grass should be static?)
I'm still learning so forgive me if I'm missing something obvious!

Any experience or advice on this would be greatly appreciated! :)


  • SopheeJay
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    SopheeJay polycounter lvl 2
    Still no luck on sorting this issue  :'(

    I decided to set the grass actor to stationary as it give the same looks as static and I believe makes more sense as the grass moves,
    but the Unreal foliage painter only gives the option for static or moveable, which leaves my 'solve' useless!

                       stationary lone actor (left)          vs             static mesh foliage paint (right)

    foliage paint with grass mesh set to moveable

    foliage paint with grass mesh set to static

    I like the look of the moveable foliage paint but obviously grass shouldn't be set to moveable, unless I'm overthinking this and it really wouldn't matter too much if this were the case in an actual game?
    The look of the static foliage paint isn't too bad when it's in the shadows of the trees, but when it's in direct light the shadows look terrible!
    It also darkens the scene way too much I think.
  • SopheeJay
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    SopheeJay polycounter lvl 2
    Here my foliage painted grass is set to static (same as the last image on the above post) however I've set my SkyLight to stationary!
    This seems to give a better look for the shadows and definitely lightens the scene, which is the main issue I had with my static grass before! 

    Not quite sure of the rules on a stationary SkyLight (I assumed it's set to static for a reason) or if this will cause other lighting issues, but this is the best 'fix' I've found so far.
    Someone correct me if these settings wouldn't realistically be used in game, I know no better!

    EDIT: never mind, after building this lighting is looks like this:

    I am losing my mind :)
  • SopheeJay
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    SopheeJay polycounter lvl 2
    Okay I tried turning off cast shadows for the grass mesh in the foliage painter, as well as switching the directional light to stationary and my skylight back to static, and got this result:

    I'm not sure what else to try and I have a deadline so this is what I'm going with at the moment, before I go crazy :)
  • Joopson
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    Joopson quad damage
    This last result looks passably good (if a bit stylized); what are your issues with how it looks?
  • SopheeJay
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    SopheeJay polycounter lvl 2
    That's alright, I'm going for somewhat stylised! :)
    I'm pretty happy with how it looks I just felt it might look better with cast shadows, but can't seem to find a combination of settings that give me the last result with a decent cast shadow, without the alphas themselves having dark shadows on them too.
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