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Shadow is not working on layer with effects

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Martin StappenShadow is not working on layer with effects
by on Aug 11, 2011 at 12:39:04 am


i am creating a video in After Effects CS5 for a study project and i need some help with this:

I habe a ground on which my elements are 'standing' (shape layer). It receives no light, but shadow. Everything as i want it so far.

But when i add effeccts to the ground (for example a gradient), the shadow disappears.

Here some screenshots of my problem:

Shadow is working, no effects on the ground (shape layer):

As is add effects to the shape layer, the shadow disappers:

I really hope someone can help me out with that.

Greetings from Germany,

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Darby EdelenRe: Shadow is not working on layer with effects
by on Aug 11, 2011 at 1:02:56 am

Shape layers are defined by vectors and are continuously rasterized, any effects you apply will break the shadows.

If all you need is a ramp then you should use a Gradient Fill on the shape layer. If you need additional effects then you'll have to use a Solid layer.

Darby Edelen

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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Shadow is not working on layer with effects
by on Aug 11, 2011 at 1:04:07 am

Continuously Rasterized Layers and Nested Comps with Collapsed Transformations switched on lose their 3D capabilites when an effect is applied.

Shape Layers, inherently, are Continuously Rasterized.

A quick solution without precomping involves creating a Shadow Catcher Layer. Simply duplicate the Shape Layer. Select a copy of the Shape Layer to be the designated Shadow Catcher. Remove or switch off any effects applied to this layer. Remove or switch of the visibility of this Shape Layer's Contents - we only want the geometry associated with the Shape Layer. THen change its Fill to white and change its Blending Mode to Multiply.

Finally, ensure that the Shadow Catcher is a wee bit above the 'real' Shape Layer - to ensure that there are no nasty surprises arising from two layers sharing the exact same 3D space.


Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Asia.

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