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Shadow Catcher Acts as Silhouette Alpha?

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graymachineShadow Catcher Acts as Silhouette Alpha?
by on Sep 7, 2007 at 4:26:11 pm

I'm working with a logo on a wood block, using a Shadow Catcher material to grab shadows from the logo. I find that what I use another material below the shadow catcher (in the same layer) the primitive with the Shadow Catcher material Silhouettes the material behind it where it is visible. I've posted an example here:

On the right is the problem. My workaround (on the left) was to use two layers and match them up manually. However, this animation has some crazy angles and camera moves, and I am finding that the two layers appear to slip and drift as if the were are in different xyz locations.

Is this how Shadow Catcher is supposed to behave? Is my workaround the only solution?

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Matt RhodesRe: Shadow Catcher Acts as Silhouette Alpha?
by on Sep 7, 2007 at 8:18:45 pm

Hi Graymachine.

I'm not quite sure I understand what is going wrong.

The ShadowCatcher material makes the object only render shadows it receives. It should be blank/empty except for the areas that include shadows.

I'd be happy to take a look at your project, if you'd like. You should only need to send me the .aep file (no media files). Please describe which Comp/Layer I should be looking at, although your picture helps a lot.

Send files to:


Matt Rhodes
Zaxwerks, Inc.

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graymachineRe: Shadow Catcher Acts as Silhouette Alpha?
by on Sep 7, 2007 at 8:32:34 pm

I'll send you the file. This picture might describe the problem a little better:

The transparent area in the center is where the Shadow Catcher is. So, everywhere the Shadow Catcher object is, it creates transparency behind it. I would think (like you describe) that it should be transparent, allowing us to see the wood block behind it.

This happens in all of my tests with Shadow Catcher.

Harry J Frank
Freelance Motion Designer

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