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dflamholc
shadow catching problems
on Nov 17, 2005 at 4:27:56 pm

Hi all, been searching the archives on this problem but found surprisingly few entries on the shadow catcher in invig4... the one thread i found ended unresolved.

i have the same problem as mentioned there. i can't get it to work. i've got an invig text logo in front of an invig cube primitive. the cube has got shadow catcher material on all sides. i've tried with lights inside invig and with using AE lights. same with using comp camera and not. the closest i've got is to get to see the shadows in the test rendering inside invig where the cube then disapperas and I can see the shadows. this was a minor breakthrough when it happened, but i still can't get any shadows to show inside AE, where i've set up a couple of solids to mimic the shape of my shadow catcher cube inside invig plug. i've tried rendering out to .mov with different settings, but nothing.

what am I doing wrong? does it matter what sets the shadow caster and the shadow catcher is inside invig? not that I haven't tried all possible combinations imaginable... or is it that the shadow catcher and the invig logo need to be in different AE layers?

thanks for any advice, i'd love to get it to work and i am hoping that it is as always - only me who have missed the most obvious little thing....

hoping for answers.. /d :)



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Matt Rhodes
Re: shadow catching problems
on Nov 17, 2005 at 7:30:19 pm

Hello d.

Could you send me your .aep file? I'd like to take a look.

Thanks.

Matt Rhodes
Zaxwerks, Inc.


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dflamholc
Re: shadow catching problems
on Nov 17, 2005 at 8:09:50 pm

oh oooops, i threw it out in frustration. it was only a test proj with solids to receive the shadow + a quick 3d text and a shadow catcher cube in invig. sorry about that. i realize that it'd been handy to be able to send it over, but is there anything i seem to be doing wrong from my post above? is there a general mistake i could have done? to begin with I was generally following the instrucitons on zaxwerks site for how to use the shadow catcher... i suppose there wouldn't be some important detail needed in the process missing there?

it sounds so simple and even though 3d invig is quite a complicated plug it's very intuitive and easy to use, so it surprised me quite a bit that I couldn't make it happen with so much trial and error aplied...

thanks so much for replying and offering to have a look at the file and sorry for being such a (*)&%(*^&% and throwing it out

hoping for some advice anyway,,

thanks /d :)




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Matt Rhodes
Re: shadow catching problems
on Nov 17, 2005 at 9:53:49 pm

Hi d.

It seems that you're setting up things correctly. I just ran a test and the shadow was caught.

Tell me which version of the software you're using.

A few notes:
- Make sure that the light to cast shadows has shadows turned on
- Make sure the cube is in the area where the shadow should be
- Try rendering the cube without the shadow-catching material first and make sure you see shadows on the cube
- Shadow-catching only works on final renders (the Invigorator layer must be set to Best quality) -- it won't work with Draft quality layers.

Let me know if you have more questions.

Matt Rhodes
Zaxwerks, Inc.


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dflamholc
Re: shadow catching problems
on Nov 17, 2005 at 11:19:53 pm

hi Matt, thanks, though i'd already checked the things you list above -- however for some funny reason food in my belly was what was needed for the magic to happen.

i now got shadows (!) both with or without the shadow catcher material. i really don't know what was the little trick that did it. but after playing with both the draft and best quality sliders in invig and flicking the draft quality box back and forth in AE it seems to have gone right somewhere. this is using using comp lights...
what I still can't get to work properly though are shadows in AE while using lights from within invig. though i do get shadows inside invigs test render using invig lights... it never ends does it... anyway, i'm happy with comp ligths... i'd be using them anyway... one last thing. the shadows come out quite hard and jagged even with the quality sliders set to best inside invig and with best qual on the layer in AE. i have to put over 50% shadow diffuse on the ligth to get to something ok looking. is that meant to be... i think the computer i work on here is running the latest invig pro4. something.

thanks for all the help..
best /d :)



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Matt Rhodes
Re: shadow catching problems
on Nov 18, 2005 at 4:44:09 pm

Hi d.

There is a setting within the Invigorator Preferences dialog that lets you set the shadow map size.
It defaults to something low, like 500x500 -- but you can make it much larger, like 2000x2000.

To open the Invig Prefs dialog, do the following:
- Select your Invig layer and open the Set-Up window.
- Type 'O' to get into Object mode (or press the Object icon below the 3D preview window).
- In the tab below the 3D preview window, click on the "User Prefs" button. The User Preferences dialog will open.
- Find the "Shadow Quality" menu (second from the top) and change it from the default of 500.
- Click OK to close the dialog.

Note that larger maps will use more memory, but will produce better results.

Let us know if you have more questions.

Matt Rhodes
Zaxwerks, Inc.


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