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Adjustment layer cancelling a shadow

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Tomas Diaz Velasco
Adjustment layer cancelling a shadow
on May 23, 2013 at 12:15:11 pm

Hi there, I am working with a composition that has six 3D layers. here a description of what they are from bottom to top:
A background, a floor, the reflection of a logo on that floor, a solid with 2 masks (feather and subtract)which is the reflection's track matte, Adjustment layer (problem layer) with a distorting effect that I want to affect the floor and the logo reflection, Logo layer and then a solid with a mask serving as track matte for the Logo.
I also have an animated camera and an ambient light and a spot light.

So here is the problem: I want the spot light to cast the logo's shadow on the floor. I achieve this without a problem but as soon as I add that adjustment layer with the effect on top of my floor and logo reflection then the shadow disappears.

I know having 2D layers in the comp might cause undesirable effects but I have no 2D layers. I played around with the setting of lights and layers, tried different mask modes on those layers with masks. Turned on and off a thing at a time and nothing makes a difference. only turning off the adjustment layer reveals the shadow. not even masking the adjustment layer or turning off its effect do anything.

Any ideas?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Adjustment layer cancelling a shadow
on May 23, 2013 at 1:47:00 pm

A 3D adjustment layer is also in 3D space. If it doesn't intersect with the desired layer(s), it will have no effect. Rather than use an adjustment layer, you can apply effects directly to the layers themselves.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Tomas Diaz Velasco
Re: Adjustment layer cancelling a shadow
on May 23, 2013 at 3:00:23 pm

Hi Dave, Thank you for your prompt reply. Firstly let me also thank you for all the help you have given me through your suggestions to other threads.
In this case my problem is not that the effect does not work I took into account what you say and I got that working without trouble. the problem here is that having that adjustment layer makes my shadow disappear. I cant figure out why it would affect the shadow it just makes no sense since it does not even get in the way of the light or the object casting the shadow.
The only workaround I managed was to apply the effect to the individual layers but limits my control over it as well as in general does not have the desired effect since the distortion is not the same on the floor as it is on the reflection. I would probably be asking how to manage the effect once I have them on both layers but if I could fix the problem with the shadow disappearing then that would sort it out since I already have the effect the way I want it using the adjustment layer.


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Adjustment layer cancelling a shadow
on May 23, 2013 at 3:05:52 pm

Adjustment Layers, 2D or even 3D, break AE's 3D layer interaction for layers above and below the Adjustment Layer.

With this in mind, you will have to either (1) pre-render the Adjustment Layer and its underlying layers or (2) apply the effect (that was applied to the Adjustment Layer) singularly, to each relevant layer.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE


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Tomas Diaz Velasco
Re: Adjustment layer cancelling a shadow
on May 23, 2013 at 4:09:35 pm

Thank you for your reply Roland. So basically adjustment layers on 3D compositions are a NO NO? Funny that all it breaks is the shadow. Oh well I have to live with the 'not as good' effect that I get when I apply to the separate layers. Pre-rendering wouldn't work since I want the shadow cast on the floor. I will probably try pre-composing the layers underneath but is going to be huge amount of weird work to get them to look as if they are interacting the way they interact on the 'real' 3D space. If I get it to work some other way I will post it here.
Thanks guys for your input.


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Adjustment layer cancelling a shadow
on May 23, 2013 at 10:01:47 pm

As far as the 3D render engine is concerned, an Adjustment Layer acts like a 2D layer - they restrict 3D layer interactions. 3D layer interaction includes light transmission and layer intersections as well as shadow casting.

If you pre-render the required layers, you can use a white solid to act as a shadow catcher - TIP: set this layer to Cast Shadows Only (available with CS6).

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE


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Tomas Diaz Velasco
Re: Adjustment layer cancelling a shadow
on May 24, 2013 at 3:14:21 pm

Thank you Roland for helping me make sense of it. Still it feels a little weird as light transmission was not affected. But your suggestion of rendering the layers and then using the shadow catcher was the best solution in my case since I really needed that adjustment layer for the effect to work as desired.Thank you very much.


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Adjustment layer cancelling a shadow
on May 24, 2013 at 11:45:46 pm

You are most welcome Tomas. I'm glad things have worked out for you. I am however perplexed that Light Transmission is working, given your specific comp/timeline scenario. I suggest that you double check to ensure that you are looking at the correct layers/properties.

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE


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