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Cockpit shadows

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33
Country
unitedstates
Hi all. We noticed our VC was not casting dynamic shadows on itself ( just very blurry strange shadows ). I decided to merge my scene into the DA62 sample and realized that the crisp dynamic shadows depend on the position of the model in 3DS.

For example, compared to the DA62, my VC much farther forward. If my move my VC backward to where the DA62 is then the shadows work. Also if I move the DA62 forward to where my VC should be, its shadows get messed up.

Does anyone know if there is a "virtual shadow boundary" that is defining where the shadows are cast in detail?

Sorry I can't post pics of our VC just yet. but if you look at the attached pics, you'll see the shadow blob cast by my VC is blurry while the shadow cast by the DA62 is sharp and crisp. You can also see the dynamic shadows work in the DA62. My shadows do not look anything like that. Just some blurry blobs in the cockpit and parts do not cast shadows on other parts in the cockpit.

Thanks in advance
 

Attachments

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  • ASobo cockpit shadow1.jpg
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I have seen something in the dev tools that may be related. It was never an issue on the projects I was working on, so just ignored it before.

One of the debug views is called Shadow Sphere and there is associated parameters in the lighting tab. I also found the location of this data in the camera.cfg file.

20220116104226_1.jpg



Code:
[CAMERADEFINITION.23]
Title="ShadowCenter"
Guid="{1404858F-9944-4A78-A418-26881416EF19}"
UITitle=""
Description=""
Origin="Cockpit"
Track="None"
TargetCategory="None"
ClipMode="Normal"
SnapPbhAdjust="None"
PanPbhAdjust="None"
XyzAdjust=0
ShowAxis="NO"
AllowZoom=0
InitialZoom=1
SmoothZoomTime=5
BoundingBoxRadius=1.25
ShowWeather=0
CycleHidden=0
CycleHideRadius=0
ShowPanel=1
MomentumEffect=0
ShowLensFlare=0
PanPbhReturn=0
SnapPbhReturn=1
InstancedBased=0
NoSortTitle=0
NodesToHide=""
Transition=0
Category="Cockpit"
SubCategory="Shadow Center"
SubCategoryItem="None"
InitialXyz= 0, 0.051922, -0.10092
InitialPbh= 0, 0, 0
 
Is that what the shadow center is? I've wondered what that was for. The shadows on the wing tips of my plane were always a bit blurry and I figured it was just an MSFS thing. I just never made the connection between the two. I've just changed the BoundingBoxRadius on my shadow center from 2.1 to 4 and now the wing tip shadows are nice and crisp. I tried 3 and that still had a bit of blurriness (not as much as at 2.1). I figure the shadows must slowly lose resolution around the BoundingBoxRadius limit.
 
I didn't know about the purpose of that either, just noticed it while working and filed away to consider later. shervsr20's post helped to connect some dots and now it seems we have confirmation and a little more information about yet another undocumented SDK feature.
 
Yes hopefully they document this. I was pulling my hair out for hours over the weekend. My VC guy has made a killer VC but it was missing that extra "umph" with the shadows. Hope this saves someone else a headache.
 
We've been trying for months to work out why the shadows in our cockpit are low-res and cause a 'speckle' effect on the shadow when the sun is at an acute angle, and this info from @sal1800 TOTALLY NAILS IT. Many many thanks for this info, which I've already retro-fitted into each of our gliders, pending some upload to flightsim.to. I still don't know what the Shadow Sphere actually does ("give me less crap shadows inside this sphere"?) but the SDk Debug/Aircraft/Shadow Sphere shows you where it is on your plane - by default that sphere covers a Cub cockpit but totally misses a glider cockpit more forward of the wing. The Shadow Sphere definition is in "cameras.cfg".
 
There was something I read that described the shadow sphere but can't remember where. It has something to do with the shadow calculation where it's important to know where the eye point is. Like you would cast rays from the eyepoint and keep track of how close those pass the geometry. So a more accurate calculation when the ray origin matches the camera position.
 
The documentation on this is very poor. But I've found essentially you just want it to cover the entirety of your VC to get higher-res shadows in there.
 
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