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I could find a proper explanation of how people bake their shadows for racing games? All baking examples and tutorials are about interior lightning or some small area etc. I really don't even know where to start on achieving this. Do I create a very long road/grass texture, and just bake on top of that? But wouldn't that be extremely memory heavy? Then how did old games do it?

reference of in game shadows

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In most modern driving or open world games, the shadows are actually dynamic/realtime, otherwise the texture size required to have sharp shadows across a large area is going to be huge.

What most games do is make the shadow-casting lamp follow the location of the camera, this way, you always see shadows all around you, but it doesn't have have to render a huge shadow map for the entire map.

Static shadow maps (using a different set of UV) is still a huge part of most games with a high percentage of indoor space, as it gives softer appearances and potentially bounced lights as well.

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  • $\begingroup$ Has baking shadow/lighting maps onto a separate texture using an optimized second uv set for level geometry actually fallen out of favor recently? Unity seemed to be hyping seamless merging of dynamic light and lightmaps as a pro feature not THAT long ago. $\endgroup$
    – Weaver
    Feb 18, 2018 at 7:34
  • $\begingroup$ Clarified that in my answer. $\endgroup$
    – Mike Pan
    Feb 18, 2018 at 18:54

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