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remove shadows (external render)


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In an effort to improve my rendering I have a model I made way back in VW2011. I have been playing around with this for a short-while and I have removed the building from the background but is there a reasonable way to remove shadows? (I want to put them onto another layer so I can then overlay onto a background in PS


I have tried several ways so far but nothing too great. A single colour render and then selecting out the shadows in PS is my best effort so far but I may have missed something


thank you

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 12.18.27.png

Edited by barkest
added more info
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Note - Textures can be designed to themselves cast shadows or not.

This is useful for cases where you want the light to penetrate a surface or where shadows just get in the way eg a lighting instrument lens or lighting truss, or to respect the laws of physics eg a model box.

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You could turn off colors to create a whiteboard effect and possibly use that as a multiplier layer in PS but I don't think there is a way to isolate the shadows on their own.

Take a look at Ambient Occlusion also - it produces a very nice internal corner effect

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What it sounds like you're trying to do is get the shadows from the building & entourage that being cast on the ground surface, which you want to replace with a photo background in Photoshop.


Luis's response below is the best method to create a 'shadow pass' in Vw.


Another option would be to use the new 2017 Camera Match functionality, I think it would do what you're trying to achieve without having to use Photoshop.

Edited by rDesign
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I'd try making a copy of that viewport and render it using artistic lines and shadows. Make the lines super thin and make the shadows black.  You'll have the model white solid. If you were thinking on using Photoshop then the deleting the whiteness will be easy.

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 11.18.11 AM.png

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Thank you Luis


I will give it a go.


Also, there were two things you said that I have been thinking about:


1. The detail is important

2. Rendering is like painting


From that I took an 'old' beach hut render and as time allows I will work on it with those two points in mind.


I just added a beach towel over the rail and a blanket on the beach itself for more interest. Following Josh's input as well I will take away all of the sharp edges and also work on making the textures more realistic and 'dirty' as well.


Here are the two added items.

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 15.22.21.png

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@barkestHi the way i use to seperate the shadows is to create a renderworks Style. We use this to create existing and proposed shadows. We overlay a hidden line viewport of the building over an Esisting shadow viewport over the new shadow viewport. Cant show building but these are the 2 viewports and only renders the shadows and not the building.

all done in vectorworks.

Attached file has the renderworks style se the resource manager for them. HTH

Shadows off.vwx


Edited by Alan Woodwell
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  • 1 month later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
1 hour ago, Andy Broomell said:


Messing around with the Lines and Shadow artistic render style... Is there a way to control the quality of curved things? See the shadows in the lower part of the screenshot below (OpenGL on top, Artistic RW on bottom).


Not in Fast Renderworks, make a Renderworks Style and set it up the way you like but with curved geometry set to High. I don't usually need Very High for curved geometry, unless it's really close up.


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  • 5 months later...

Has anyone tried playing with the new "Shadow Catcher" shader in VW2018? Looks like it's made for this type of situation. Attached is a test file and the resultant PNG with transparency. One advantage is that you could deform your shadow catcher plane or apply the texture to a site model. This would make the shadows appear to be hitting an irregular surface, which could look more realistic in the final composite.


Edit: I tried applying a displacement map to the shadow catcher plane, thinking it would be a quick way to simulate shadows cast on a rough surface like the beach in barkest's file, but unfortunately once you make a texture use Shadow Catcher, it greys everything else out. (You can't have both a Shadow Catcher in the Transparency channel and a displacement map in the Bump channel.) Still a pretty cool new feature though!


Shadow Catcher Image.png

Shadow Catcher Test.vwx

Edited by tsw
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  • 1 month later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I also came here to mention shadow catcher :) by design it zeroes everything out but the shadows so a displaced texture (or any other texture) would not work with it. I'm afraid the only way to do it would be to create bumpy geometry.

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