I am having issues with my scene. I created a sand dune sort of mesh and everything is all good. I add in an HDRI and then get this:

enter image description here

As you can see, the sand has some sort of weird shading issue which I believe is called "shadow terminator artifacts". I've only seen three solutions:

  1. Up the mesh density (didnt' work, even with my high poly 1mil mesh i got these artifacts)
  2. use the shadow terminator removal tool in blender 2.9 (Also didn't work, the shadows became too large)
  3. Disable smooth shading. (Did absolutely nothing)

I honestly am confused and have no idea how to fix this. The scene is literally just an HDRI rotated around slightly.

One thing i will note, is that the shading issue goes away when i have a more diffuse HDRI (or none at all)

enter image description here

And here is everything in the viewport: enter image description here

I also have tried switching out the HDRI for something else and still got the artifacts. What else can I try?

EDIT: forgot to mention, I don't get this issue when I render with EEVEE.

  • $\begingroup$ try to change the size of your light, if it's a sun and if you are in Cycles it is called Angle $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Aug 5, 2020 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ @moonboots I'm not using any lamps, just an HDRI. $\endgroup$
    – cgperfect
    Aug 5, 2020 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ so maybe add a light in order to smooth the shadows? $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Aug 5, 2020 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ @moonboots doesn't seem to work really $\endgroup$
    – cgperfect
    Aug 5, 2020 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ could you please pack your images and share your file (only the terrain)? blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Aug 5, 2020 at 18:28


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