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How to Crop a Drop Shadow in After Effects

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Travis Brown
How to Crop a Drop Shadow in After Effects
on Sep 18, 2011 at 11:34:18 pm

Hey,
I'm sure this is probably super easy, but I added a drop shadow to a character whose background I rotobrushed out and am trying to make the shadow be only on the ground. When I use the drop shadow or radial shadow effect I want to only keep the bottom of the shadow and get rid of the rest so the shadow looks like it's at the feet of the character. Any ideas? Or do you need more clarity?

Thanks


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ben g unguren
Re: How to Crop a Drop Shadow in After Effects
on Sep 18, 2011 at 11:58:53 pm

One way is to make a layer that is ONLY shadow. Then you can use a mask to limit it to the ground, or make a separate layer with the mask and use it as an alpha matte for the shadow layer.

Ben Unguren
Motion Graphics & Editing
http://www.mostlydocumentary.com


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Travis Brown
Re: How to Crop a Drop Shadow in After Effects
on Sep 19, 2011 at 2:40:38 am

Cool. Thanks for the response. I created another composition and nested, then applied the drop shadow and masked it. That seemed to work.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: How to Crop a Drop Shadow in After Effects
on Sep 19, 2011 at 7:02:55 am

Another quick and dirty way of doing a shadow (with perspective distortion) is to duplicate the layer, use Levels to make it all black, add a Fast Blur to feather edges and a mask with lots of feathering to cut the top of the layer and make the "shadow" fade. Make the layer 3d, add a camera, move anchor point to the bottom and rotate on x axis to match perspective. You can also use Bezier Wrap or Mesh Wrap to distort the "shadow" layer without making it 3d and adding a camera.
If you have the funds, you can get great shadows using Red Giants Wrap, the Shadow Tool:
http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/products/all/rgwarp/

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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