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Looks like generating accurate shadows is not something EEVEE can do. Or is there a fix I'm not aware of? I researched enough to learn that I had to turn "contact shadows" on, but that just corrected one problem while introducing another.

The example scene is pretty simple, a colored box on the corner of a desk (not the main subject) with two bulb lights, one left and one right. The EEVEE shadow problems show up in the viewport view as well as the renders.

Cycles Cycles

EEVEE, contact shadows off EEVEE no contact shadows

EEVEE, contact shadows on EEVEE with contact shadows

So, with contact shadows turned off, the error occurs in the front of the cube where the shadows don't appear close to where the cube makes contact with the desktop, but with contact shadows on, the overall size of the shadows on either side is wrong (they're too large).

Is there some other setting I should turn on that I don't know about?

  • Blender 4.0.1 running on MacOS 14.1.1.
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You have a number of setting you can control under the Light that affect how the shadows are calculated. In particular, under Contact Shadows, you have more settings specific to them. I suggest to decrease the Distance. It seems that your scene is small, and the default value is just too high.

Light

To improve the quality of the shadows, there are more settings under the Render tab. I suggest to look at them as well. I suggest to increase Cube Size and Cascade Size, and to enable Soft Shadows.

Render

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the advice. The trick that worked, though, was reducing both the thickness and distance settings by a little more than half what they were. Reducing just the distance reverted the shadows to how they appeared with contact shadows turned off. There was no need to fiddle with the render settings. (Note: Soft shadows had already been turned on.) When I did fiddle with them, it made no difference that I could discern. But thanks for steering me in the right direction. $\endgroup$ Nov 21, 2023 at 15:36
  • $\begingroup$ You're welcome! I am glad I was able to help. $\endgroup$
    – Mr A
    Nov 21, 2023 at 15:46

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