Poser 6 Logo

Part 3 : The Shadow Knows

The Shadow Catcher

If you look at an object's properties in the Material Room you'll see a checkbox almost a the bottom called "Shadow_Catch_Only".
Checking the "Shadow_Catch_Only" checkbox allows transparent surfaces to catch shadows, as opposed to letting the shadows appear on the opaque surface behind them. In other words, this option will treat transparent surfaces as opaque, only in terms of their interaction with shadows. A prime use of this feature would be if you wish to render only a figure and its shadow; you could set up the floor as a transparent surface by using the ShadowCatchOnly feature to show your figure’s shadow on the transparent floor, and render (without the background). The floor will be invisible except for the shadow laying on it, so the only things in your rendered scene will be the figure and its shadow.

Standard render

Same render using Shadow Catcher

Reusing Shadow Maps

If you do not make changes to lights or object positions between renders (perhaps you're just trying different material settings on an object), there is no need to recalculate the shadow maps for your scene, as they will not have changed. The "Reuse Shadow Maps" option allows you to save the shadow map computations from your previous render and reuse them, thereby saving time with each subsequent render.

Conversely, clicking on "Clear Shadow Maps" will cause Poser to recalculate the shadow maps for your scene during the next render. Use this option if you have made changes to lights or object positions, as such changes will affect the shadows in your scene.

Paul Salmons aka slinger
For PlanIT 3D © 2005