Among the changes coming in Game Update 1.4 are improvements to the shadow effects seen in Star Wars: The Old Republic. To show off the new shadows, Senior Client Optimization Engineer Ewen Vowels gives examples in a new Developer Blog.
Quote from Ewen Vowels
The new system provides full dynamic shadows. Simply stated, all characters, trees, and moving objects cast shadows onto the game world in Game Update 1.4. The previous system only generated dynamic shadows for characters. Moving through heavily treed planets such as Tython, the player will now see the subtle moving shadows cast by the leaves and trees.
The new system supports realistic self-shadowing. As the player runs around in the game world, they will see their arms, Lightsabers, or blasters casting shadows onto themselves. Droids and gun turrets also cast realistic shadows as they animate in the game world.
The new system has been also upgraded to generate softer-edged shadows. The shadows (particularly those around the player) will be far less blocky and pixelated than in the previous system.
For the post in full, head over to the Developer Blog.