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Thread: Shadow catcher - HDRI - setup

  1. #1
    www.Digitawn.co.uk rustythe1's Avatar
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    Shadow catcher - HDRI - setup

    ok, first time I got around to setting this up in 2018-19, used to be so easy, but cant seem to get things working or im just going mad? if you have a high res jpeg spherical, along with those blurred HDRI lighting and reflection images (like sibl uses), there doesn't seem to be any way you can use this set up with shadow catcher?
    shadow catcher seems to "have" to use backdrop only for its image, doesn't seem to work with a reversed sphere (even changing its option from backdrop to environment), but the environment light also can only use backdrop (attaching a spherical image in nodes has no affect), meaning it has to have the blurry HDRI set as backdrop to be able to use light values?
    im sure im missing something simple,
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  2. #2
    Super Member Kryslin's Avatar
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    As I found out down in my WIP gallery thread...
    1) Put your light probe HDRI in an image world or Textured environment.
    2) Under the compositing tab (ctrl-f6) place your background plate. Note that there is no way to use your spherical image here. There might be using 3rd party tools. I took my high res spherical map, and rendered out a 4x resolution plate from it.
    3) Set up for shadow catcher.
    4) You can use either radiosity or an environment light. One thing I've noticed, though, is that the shadowing with the environment light doesn't appear to change, it's always pointing the same direction, regardless of the position of the light source in the image... Perhaps it needs a higher res light probe? I already had an insane amount of sampling going on... (In my case with FiberFX, radiosity isn't an option... Unless you like really Long render times)
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    www.Digitawn.co.uk rustythe1's Avatar
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    that was my point, no longer can use spherical images like you could with sibl, shadowing was working fine for me, it even works with the jpeg as the backdrop, but the lighting is far better and more accurate when using the HDRI, obviously for newer stuff standard hdri can be used, but I have a huge ibl collection all with blurred lighting and it works far better ( no fireflies or anything as there are no random hot spots)
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  4. #4
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    If you have LW 2015, create your sIBL environment & save that scene. Now open it in 2019 & save separately.

    That being said, one of the tools in OD Tools is for HDR presets. It doesn't create the add'l spheres as sIBL does, which you could still easily do on your own, but it sets up everything else; the enviro light, ground shadow catcher if wished, and controls for rotation.

    But take look at the Create Enviro Sphere as well:

    https://vimeo.com/album/4335852/video/280984623
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  5. #5
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    You can extract shadow from Shadow Catcher material, and use it wherever you want as input parameter like I showed on this video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vXIwUyrupo

  6. #6
    www.Digitawn.co.uk rustythe1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma3rk View Post
    If you have LW 2015, create your sIBL environment & save that scene. Now open it in 2019 & save separately.

    That being said, one of the tools in OD Tools is for HDR presets. It doesn't create the add'l spheres as sIBL does, which you could still easily do on your own, but it sets up everything else; the enviro light, ground shadow catcher if wished, and controls for rotation.

    But take look at the Create Enviro Sphere as well:

    https://vimeo.com/album/4335852/video/280984623
    yea, I tried, but like I said, an enviro sphere doesn't work with the new shadow catcher (i.e. the shadow catcher will ignore the sphere and just map the backdrop), as its more of a render mode not really a material like before, ill look at senseis suggestion, but shouldn't have to rely on external plugin to do something you could do in 2015!
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustythe1 View Post
    yea, I tried, but like I said, an enviro sphere doesn't work with the new shadow catcher (i.e. the shadow catcher will ignore the sphere and just map the backdrop), as its more of a render mode not really a material like before, ill look at senseis suggestion, but shouldn't have to rely on external plugin to do something you could do in 2015!
    You're overestimating what Shadow Catcher is doing. It is just setting material.Transparency channel to 0, or 1 (with default Shadow Catcher settings i.e. Shadow Color black, Reflections 0%).
    material.Diffuse Shading (after split) is set to what is set in Effects > Backdrop settings.
    If you will Split Material, start connecting outputs to see what they contain in certain Shadow Catcher material settings.

  8. #8
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustythe1 View Post
    yea, I tried, but like I said, an enviro sphere doesn't work with the new shadow catcher (i.e. the shadow catcher will ignore the sphere and just map the backdrop), as its more of a render mode not really a material like before, ill look at senseis suggestion, but shouldn't have to rely on external plugin to do something you could do in 2015!
    You might have to set a couple things manually, but none of this really requires a 3PP. It's just that you can do with a couple clicks what it will generally take several minutes. Us olde fahrts often prefer spending a few bucks on something if it'll save time.
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  9. #9
    www.Digitawn.co.uk rustythe1's Avatar
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    But what can you set manually, you literally have a drop down with two options, backdrop or environment,
    Click image for larger version. 

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    so is there a bug here? because under shading model where you select shadow catcher you can select backdrop or environment, I would have assumed environment would mean its supposed to take the geometry/scene (i.e. if you added a image sphere) into account and show that through the same way as a backdrop, but seems that it doesn't show it correctly as it shows as if it is refracted and has transmission even if you set no refraction etc i.e. the object receiving the shadow is clearly visible as a distortion.
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  10. #10
    Goes bump in the night RebelHill's Avatar
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    Environment refers to a "wrapped" enviro, such as you add via image world or textured envrio in the enviro dropdown in bacground tab. Backdrop image refers to the image set as the camera frame backdrop in compositing tab.

    If you're trying to have 2 environment wraps, one for lighting, one for shadow catcher projection... its a nope.

    Ive asked previously if we could get the ability to texture an environment light via the nodes, same as we would any other, that's allow for a lot of mixed effects, including what you're trying to do. No luck so far, might I suggest you feature request again.
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  11. #11
    www.Digitawn.co.uk rustythe1's Avatar
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    will do, (oddly the backdrop option seems to allow both/either anyway so seems to be a pointless dropdown!) that was my first thought, the colour connection is there in nodes, just doesn't do anything! suppose the way around will be to first render the backdrop in place on its own then use that as the camera backdrop and use the blurred one with the scene lighting after
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