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Flickering shadows with large Terrain + Cast Shadows enabled + large Shadow Distance value. Precision Issues?



Shadows are computed from the Z buffer, so low near plane values can cause precision issues. Some other precision issues might be happening far away from the origin as well.

Perhaps we should look into using reverse-float Z buffer on platforms that can do it (e.g. DX11/consoles), with an infinite projection matrix.

This will need an editor developer and a graphics developer to fix.

EDIT(wyatt): Flickering shadows with large Terrain + Cast Shadows enabled + large Shadow Distance value

  1. Resolution Note:

    As we are not focussing on the built-in render pipeline we are aiming to close this bug. As a workaround we suggest to aggressively adjust the near/far plane for shadows. Or alternatively move to LWRP (for mobile) or HDRP (desktop/console).

Comments (10)

  1. pistoleta

    Sep 17, 2021 09:13

    Is this solved in URP?

  2. Komikom

    Oct 09, 2019 18:41

    Why the recommended ,,solution" is to move to LWRP or HDRP? This problem persists even in HDRP (did not test LWRP). How is this not fixed yet? // HDRP 6.9.1, Unity 2019.2.7f2

  3. Little_Gorilla

    Aug 27, 2019 17:18

    I had this issue on Unity 2019.2 with large terrains and large shadow distance, but changing the clipping plane of the Camera from the default of 0.1 to 0.5 fixed it for me.

  4. ArminRigo

    May 21, 2019 10:26

    The problem is not fixed at all. I have a sample scene with which I can reproduce the problem, and shadows flicker just the same way with Unity 2019.1's VR Lightweight RP.

    In case someone wants to look into it, here it is:

  5. ritendev

    May 03, 2019 20:01

    I have run into same issue and looks like I have to switch to new engine. Looks like unity was created only for 2x2 scenes with primitive gameobjects.

    NOW i understand why there is Just few good games on thia engine. Critical bug marked as closed...

    I have tried to switch to new pipeline, but there is Just more problems like tree shaders.

  6. jason-fisher

    Sep 15, 2016 18:23

    This should be resolved in the Unity 5.5 beta:

    Graphics: Improve shadows precision for large worlds

    Use reverse-float depth buffer for improved depth buffer precision on modern GPUs. Particularly improves directional light shadowing for large view distances.

  7. zakirshikhli

    Sep 15, 2016 13:38

    Confirming issue:
    Spot lights, Point lights, cookie maps and shadow maps flickering after leaving > ~1000 distance from origin point.
    //Spotted on Android, not on WindowsEditor//
    This is a CRITICAL bug. But I don't understand, WHY Unity Developer team not consentrated on this HUGE issue?
    What game can be made inside 1000 units (~1 mile, ~1 km) ?
    What about big maps, open world or infinite terrain games?

  8. Silent8Strike

    May 13, 2016 19:20

    Another vote for raising the priority of this issue. If you want to see Unity being used in bigger and more ambitious projects issues like these need to be fixed sooner rather than later.

  9. HHammerite

    Feb 09, 2016 14:40

    We have the same problem, we are working with a huge world and have this issue as you get further away from 0,0,0. The shadows look like shit and becomes unplayable. We need this fixing as any kind of game play looks bad and we can't continue if this remains how it is. We also have buildings and changing the near clip to a higher distance isn't an option.

    As TEKHK said we need this fixing asap. It really puts a hold on development as we fear we could be wasting out time if its not a fixable problem.

  10. TekHK

    Jan 15, 2016 01:59

    We are really struggling with this - our world is a hundreds kiliometers total, and around 30km across where we need precision and the shadows are always flickering. Changing camera clipping simply does not work because we have to go inside buildings as well as looking at them from the outside. Dual camera systems have other issues of a visible line where they join and shadow clipping.

    We really need a solution to this quickly and I know there are many other devs out there who would love to see this fixed.

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