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Rendering a plane object as transparent

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Scott GreenRendering a plane object as transparent
by on Nov 1, 2011 at 11:26:54 pm

Hi,

I'm animating these objects:


And outputting a Quicktime movie with alpha but all I want it the objects and the shadows and for the plane (floor) to have alpha/transparency but I can't figure out how to do it.

I tried applying a compositing tag to the floor and deselecting 'seen by camera' but this didn't work as it would output the shadows.

Can you help?

Thanks.

I really do love good design - http://www.splurj.com


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Adam TrachtenbergRe: Rendering a plane object as transparent
by on Nov 2, 2011 at 4:40:51 am

There is a very handy little shadow catcher plugin that's free -- you can probably find it with a google search.

In this case, however, you can do it another way. Render an object buffer for everything but the floor and also render a shadow pass and a diffuse pass. Then, in post, use the buffer to knock out the floor from the diffuse pass, and multiply the shadow pass over everything.


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Scott GreenRe: Rendering a plane object as transparent
by on Nov 2, 2011 at 8:48:01 am

I'll try and make sense of that later and let you know how I get on :)
Thanks.

I really do love good design - http://www.splurj.com


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Scott GreenRe: Rendering a plane object as transparent
by on Nov 2, 2011 at 8:49:41 am

Does anyone have any simpler solutions? I'm a bit of a novice :)

I really do love good design - http://www.splurj.com


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Adam TrachtenbergRe: Rendering a plane object as transparent
by on Nov 2, 2011 at 8:33:03 pm

Well, like I said, the simplest solution is the shadow catcher plugin, but what I described really isn't that complicated. Here's a video tutorial walkthrough: http://www.3danvil.com/tutorials/Shadowcatcher/Shadow%20Catcher.html


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Scott GreenRe: Rendering a plane object as transparent
by on Nov 3, 2011 at 7:56:05 pm

Wow, that really was easier than it sounded, thanks Adam :)

I really do love good design - http://www.splurj.com


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Scott GreenRe: Rendering a plane object as transparent
by on Jan 9, 2015 at 3:43:20 pm

Wow, it's been a while since I first wrote this post, but I today I'm still having trouble with outputting shadows and alpha with Shadow Catcher.

What I want to achieve is:

Where everything is orange in this image I want to be Alpha. The spheres bob up and down with the plane hiding the underneath of the objects but i want the shadows on the plane.

But when I apply Shadow Catcher the the alpha channel of the material applied to the plane I can see through the plane but i don't want to:


Anyone got any ideas?

Splurj Creative Motion Graphics, Animation & Video Production in Manchester UK.


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