how do I create shadows I am making a german expressionist type monster movie and want the last shot to be of one shadow growing and growing into a huge monster. I could try and do this with lighting but it may not look good, is it possible to achieve something like this in after effects? thanks
While my first suggestion would be to do it with lighting, you could also achieve a semblance of the practical effects by either using a green screen technique, where, in the case of the monster, you shoot it and key it, then use either a shadow plugin such as Red Giant Warp (http://www.redgiant.com/products/all/rgwarp/), or take a copy of the footage, reduce the brightness and contrast until it's black, then soften it with a blur and distort it until it looks the way you want it.
Here's another method from VideoCopilot:
You would obviously use this technique with a layer which has an alpha channel.