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Exporting shadows only / making shadows lighter


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I'm very much a beginner at 3D VW, so excuse [another] potentially stupid question, but...

I have been trying to make the shadows lighter - I've set up a heliodron, the shadows look good (using Fast renderworks or OpenGL) but they are very dark.

I cannot find any way to lighten them, so thought it would be helpful to have a viewport with the shadows only,  then export the colour and shadows separately, then layer them up in Photoshop.

Can anyone enlighten me as to whether either of these things are possible, and if so how?

Thanks for your help!




Edited by phin
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To start lightening shadows in OpenGL there aren’t that many options, but increasing ambient light will help a lot. However a much more detailed approach would be to use a Renderworks style in which case there are all sorts of options available to you which work really well.


if you are starting out with Vectorworks then check out an excellent series of videos on the YouTube channel called Remarkable Renderworks which will really get you started.


If you just want to just export shadows then the Shadow Catcher shader is a very good place to start. There is a very good guide to that on the Vectorworks YouTube channel as well.


hope that helps......


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Hi Mark,


That does help - thanks!


The Remarkable Renderworks series is indeed excellent - I need to go and rent a cave to hide in to watch them all without distraction.


I've gone for increasing ambient lighting - definitely the easiest - but would still like to know how to just get the shadows out. I work in landscape design and a rendered crisp finish isn't always desirable, so tend to run the JPGs through a filter in Photoshop, then layer the shadows back on top (to keep them sharp).

Where would I find the Shadow Catcher texture? I've installed what I think are the relevant files via the Help > Downloads menu, but can't see it in the RB. 


Thanks again!

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