(help needed) Poser 11: rendering shadow on a transparant background

  • @morkonan Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was just playing with setting up a render for a Halloween render challenge, and even though I attached the background image I was going to use on the Background in the Material Room, I didn't get any kind of shadow, because my character wasn't actually standing in the scene.

    I'm definitely going to have to try this. ~smile~

  • @morkonan

    First, go to Display options and set your background color to white. (The white box on the far right of the bottom row.)

    Then, go to Render Settings (I couldn't get it working with D3D's Firefly Render script, but I didn't muck around with it too much) open up the Firefly Render options and select the Manual method. At the top right of that dialogue window, click the drop-down to Render Over "Background Color."

    Then, below the Render Over choice, you'll see a list of Render types. Check on Shadow Only and uncheck all the others.

    Then, render your Shadow map. :)

    PS - If exported as a PNG, I think it will automatically produce a PNG image with White being the transparent color, so it can function as an alpha map and you can simply overlay your shadowmap in your chosen painting app. Other uncompressed formats may also accept that channel as transparent.

    Well, I just tried that, and even though I exported the render as a .PNG, which is what I usually do, it did not open in Photoshop as a transparent .PNG. IOW, all the white was there, and when I checked the Channels for the image, there was no alpha channel. Did I miss something somewhere?

    I always get a transparent background if I export as .PNG, and don't have an image set up for the Background in the Material Room.

  • @Miss-B

    I'll have to look at it. I don't use Poser to generate shadowmaps/whatever, so I'm really not intimately familiar with the process. I imagine there's something about it in the manual, though. /shrug I'll experiment and get back to you if someone else doesn't figure it out and post on it beforehand.

  • Thanks for any suggestions you can come up with. If nothing else, I can always do it in postwork.

  • If you are rendering in Firefly Miss B, and you have a background image you want the shadow to render over, don't forget you will need a floor in Poser for the shadow to land on. So load a square prop, and in the material room set the material for the square prop to 'Shadow_Catch_Only' and you should be able to render your figure over your background and get a shadow.
    I'm waiting to be able to use shadow catching in Superfly, I don't know how long that wait will be :)

  • Bagginsbill has a shadow catcher shader for Firefly. He was working on one for Superfly, but I haven't heard of any progress. The shader can be gotten here...


  • @raven Ahhh, thanks for that tip. I'm going to try that. I wasn't aware of the Shadow_Catch_Only option. That sounds like it would do the trick.

  • @wandw OK, for some reason I never saw that at BB's site the many times I've been there, so thanks for that. I've used a shadow catcher shader in DS 3A and DS 4.0P using their Shader bricks, but haven't tried experimenting with it in Poser until now, so glad to be able to find a way to do so.

    I hope he comes up with one for SuperFly.

  • Obviously I haven’t used Poser 11 very much since I got it, because I just experienced this problem and have been trying to fix it... so far this is the best solution.
    The suggestion given by morkanan is effective... I didn’t like the results I got using photoshop, so I gave Gimp a try and it works well...
    Open the image in Gimp, go to the menu bar at the top choose “Colors”, then scroll down to “Colors to Alpha”... make sure you have the white color selected in the “From __________ to alpha” area and it should work just fine.

  • If you go to Display>Guides>Ground Plane (Uncheck it) it will get rid of the ground if on poser 11 version and give a older version poser type scene and you can render the image with it being transparent and figures still casting the shadow.