About SE Screen-Space Shadows

SE Screen-Space Shadows provides screen-space raytraced shadows for directional lights for sharp, detailed contact shadows. It can capture details in shadows that would otherwise be missed using traditional shadow maps alone.

This effect works by tracing in screen-space using the depth buffer information, similar to SSAO or screen-space reflections. Like these other effects, anything that is not directly visible in the main view will not contribute to screen-space shadows. However, because this effect is meant to be used in combination with traditional shadow maps to improve close-proximity contact shadows, this limitation is generally not apparent.

If you want to report an issue, you can either post in the Unity Forums thread, send me a PM on the Unity Forums, visit the Contact page.



The above chart compares the render time of SE Screen-Space Shadows (in the grassy scene seen above) and both Unity’s Antialiasing (FXAA) and Ambient Obscurance image effects.

The render time of SE Screen-Space Shadows is independent of scene complexity, and far away surfaces are quicker to calculate shadows for.


This effect requires DX11 or OpenGL 4.1. It is not compatible with OpenGL ES and won’t work for WebGL or mobile platforms. It is compatible with Unity 5.4 and 5.5.


  • Initial release.