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To bake a extra shadowmask map, what issue will be solved?

Since subtractive mode also bakes shadow infomation into lightmap, why these two functions split?

The extra shadowmask map is only for blending realtime shadow and baked shadow depending on distance?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking about this? It seems to be reasonably well explained there - what part did you find unclear? \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Aug 13, 2021 at 12:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think a bigger size lightmap can do higher fidelity shadows as well. Then why a extra shadowmask map should be needed? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 13, 2021 at 12:49

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The unity manual actually answers your question:

Shadowmask Lighting Mode provides the highest fidelity shadows among all the Lighting Modes, but has the highest performance cost and memory requirements. It is suitable for rendering realistic scenes where distant GameObjects are visible, such as open worlds, on high-end or mid-range hardware.

The shadowmask lighting mode allows Unity to combine baked and real-time shadows at runtime, and to render shadows in the far distance. It does this by using an additional lightmap texture known as a shadow mask, and by storing additional information in Light Probes.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't get it. It seems an extra shadowmask map is useless, a bigger size lightmap can do higher fidelity shadows as well. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 13, 2021 at 12:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is not useless at all. The shadowmask lighting mode allows Unity to combine baked and real-time shadows at runtime, and to render shadows in the far distance. It does this by using an additional lightmap texture known as a shadow mask, and by storing additional information in Light Probes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Futureblur
    Aug 13, 2021 at 12:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a result, the shadowmask map is for blending realtime and baked shadows? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 13, 2021 at 12:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, If you were to use the baked indirect mode, you would only get indirect shadows afaik. \$\endgroup\$
    – Futureblur
    Aug 13, 2021 at 12:53

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