which method for best shadows?

Started by XD1, August 03, 2018, 09:40:49 AM

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Hey guys

Just got keyshot 7. I was curious what is the best method to get good shadows like the shadow on your screen with the least amount of steps.

Methods that I know of:

1. Render a ground plane and put on it's own layer. I always had to colorize this in photoshop because it's always grey/white merky. Then use multiple but the shadow quality never seemed to be as good as method 2 below. Though this method I could make the shadow dark with colorizing them. Never figured why that wasn't a render pass or layer thing automatically. Look below to 3 with new shadow pass which I'm not fully aware of what it does.

2. Render a clown pass and mask out the fully rendered image. I find the transparency shadow isn't bad but not as good as the full image with say a white background. They tend to be smoother and more softer natural unlike using the ground plane method which for me seem darker and more rough (perhaps that's a shadow quality thing). Though that could be because it has the full background of pixels. Then you have to feather the image so there is a probably always smaller image being put on top of the original by about a pixel or so for the feathering.

3. Shadow pass. Now if someone could verify this. Is the shadow pass just for self shadows? I can't seem to figure this one out to see if it's a faster way with less steps as method 1 and 2. Looks like self shadows with ground shadows which isn't bad but you have to multiply it as well and clown out the object. Unless you want to play with the self shadows. Also why are my objects grey? shouldn't they be white otherwise multiplying this layer affects all shadows ground and on the object...

Hope this makes sense
Thanks alot


I am interested in the answers.
And after my vacation I would write my experiences and maybe an example.

You can isolate the shadow without a ground plane. Just create a new model set (deactivate linked materials). Apply an emissive material to all objects and uncheck ,visible to camera'. Now you'll get an isolated ground shadow.
Change the background setting to color and use a 50% grey tone.

What are the experiences of other users here?


Will Gibbons

Quote from: jamesp on August 03, 2018, 09:40:49 AM
like the shadow on your screen

I'm sorry, what do you mean by this? I don't think I follow your question.


How do you get good ground shadows that look like your real time rendering. They all seem to be lower quality and have problems with transparencies...cloudy grey/white areas. is there anti aliasing still?

Basically which is the best method for ground shadows? Why can't keyshot be like modo and just have a ground shadow pass that looks accurate...without having to mask etc.


why do the ground layers render like this? Shouldn't the full white ground render out with a transparency mask to show just the shadows?
looks splotchy...is that to do with the samples it's rendered at?
the last image is keyshot 5 i believe doing ground plane tecnic and it's cleaner but also released the mask


can anyone tell me if there is something to click on or off to fix this?
why is keyshot 7 doing this vs the older versions