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Creating realistic shadows that bend over objects.

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Kathalene BlehmCreating realistic shadows that bend over objects.
by on Sep 29, 2013 at 4:47:54 pm

A while ago I stumbled upon a video tutorial on youtube on how to "map" (not sure on the correct term) text to a building. I can't seem to find it anymore, and it was along the lines of what I need. Instead of just wrapping the text, the text fit the shape of the building and bent over every curve. I thought that would be very useful in creating realistic shadows for some greenscreened characters I have.

In one of the scenes, someone is walking up a fleet of stairs. I was hoping to be able to cast a shadow that would bend over every step and also would be cast on the wall to their right. I would appreciate it if someone could give me some tips on how to do this! Most of the "Creating Shadows" videos I've found have not dealt with bending them over objects.


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John CuevasRe: Creating realistic shadows that bend over objects.
by on Sep 30, 2013 at 11:06:04 am

The best way is to shoot it so that the shadows are created in camera.

If you have to do it in AE, you would need to create planes for each step,riser and the wall that are 3D and change the shadow mode to "shadows only". Then you would have to mask out your person and work out some 3D movement for him so the shadow moves as they go up the stairs. All in all a very time consuming(and possibly unrealistic) job.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Kathalene BlehmRe: Creating realistic shadows that bend over objects.
by on Sep 30, 2013 at 1:12:33 pm

Thanks. It does sound time consuming. Perhaps I'll try to find a better way!


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John CuevasRe: Creating realistic shadows that bend over objects.
by on Sep 30, 2013 at 2:25:53 pm

You could rotoscope the person, add a fill effect with a black color for the shadow. Then perhaps use distort perspective and bezier warp and some blur. That might be an easier way to fake it. Good luck with the project and if you have more specific questions, let us know.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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