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


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. $\endgroup$ – StarWeaver Feb 18 '18 at 7:34
  • $\begingroup$ Clarified that in my answer. $\endgroup$ – Mike Pan Feb 18 '18 at 18:54

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