Learning Dark Arts

Come learn the art of 3D computer generated art and animation. This blog deals with the lessons learned and the art created by Robert G. Male using DazStudio from Daz3D. Also covered are the ancillary software, tools, techniques, and processes needed both before and after rending in the 3D software.


Spell casting woman.

R.M.T.P. Co.


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April 16, 2012

Mysterious Shadows Cast from Nothing

I've been working with shadows again trying to push the boundaries. I have done some work previously with making shadows appear where there is no figure or item visible. You cannot make a figure invisible in the scene and have it make shadows. This is true whether you make it not visible in the render by flipping that switch or if you go into the Surface controls for Opacity and make it zero. This is a shame. I would like to do more work with shadows from non-visible items without the extra effort I have been going to.

To make the images I have, I put the figures up out frame from the picture. I have put some behind the camera, which I will have to do for some more images I've been thinking of making. I have also rendered the scene with the figure and the shadow and in postproduction merged it with a second render without the figure or shadow. This can be a lot of work if the figure obscures part of the shadow, which also forces me to use specific camera angles. I would like if it the software allowed non-visible and casts shadows at the same time.

I have discovered one possible saving grace, and it will work for new images that I am beginning to imagine. Below is an example of what I discovered.

The upper plane has a transparency map. A transparency map allows light to pass through the transparent portion--a good thing--and it also casts a shadow from the opaque section--an excellent thing. This means I can render my items I want to cast shadows and use them to create opacity maps. This is good news indeed given the limitation of no invisible shadow casters.

Music: Skylar's Song by Vince Neil.

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About Me

Robert G. Male

Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada

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