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Realistic Shadows

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  #1  
Old 12-16-2007, 06:46 PM
jvr jvr is offline
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Realistic Shadows

Hi all,

Very often, I've got to do or redo the shadow of an object. A realistic
shadow, not a flat drop shadow.

For example I've got to remove the background of a table and create
a new realistic shadow for the table agains a white background.

What method do you use to create this shadows?

What would be your steps to make the shadow of a table or a car? (two samples attached here)

Looking real studio pictures of a car, I noticed that the wheels have one strong shadow and the car gives a different shadow.

What's the PRO method?

Thanks in advance!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg car.jpg (39.6 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg rack.jpg (58.1 KB, 70 views)
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  #2  
Old 12-16-2007, 08:10 PM
pixelzombie pixelzombie is offline
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Re: Realistic Shadows

i will usually make at least 3 different layers for the shadows:hard shadow, soft shadow, cast shadow and then see how it looks from there depending on how the original image was lit...
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:28 PM
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Enkay Enkay is offline
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Re: Realistic Shadows

I'm not sure how the pros do it but a few years ago I was into making special effects on home videos... When I added an object to a scene and needed it cast shadows I would usualy do it in a 3D software. I would render the shadow only and lay it over the video.

You don't need to be very good at 3D modeling to get a realistic shadow this way. You just need to replicate the basic shape of the object and figure out where the light should be coming from.

Probably not the answer you were looking for but I figured I'd throw it in anyway.
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:56 AM
cli cli is offline
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Re: Realistic Shadows

hi there's different approach to shadow creation most of times brushes is all you need other time you have to recreate the form of the obj distort and fade it when you use brushes pay attention to "banding" get rid of that with noise...

All you need is "Commercial Photoshop Retouching In the Studio" of Glenn Honiball a masterpiece for me
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Old 12-18-2007, 04:57 PM
jvr jvr is offline
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Re: Realistic Shadows

Thanks pixelzombie, that's why I try, but with complex objects I'm not always sure if the perspective and distorts are ok.

Enkay, what 3D program do you use for this task? One time I wanted to use Maya to do a car shadow, but was to much for me. I'm on a Mac, do you know if there is a friendly program to do these shadows?

Thanks cli, will check that book.
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Old 12-18-2007, 05:11 PM
pixelzombie pixelzombie is offline
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Re: Realistic Shadows

if you're not sure about the perspective, you may want to learn about finding the vanishing point in an image and using that as a guide for making your shadows...
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:16 PM
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Enkay Enkay is offline
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Re: Realistic Shadows

Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr View Post
Thanks pixelzombie, that's why I try, but with complex objects I'm not always sure if the perspective and distorts are ok.

Enkay, what 3D program do you use for this task? One time I wanted to use Maya to do a car shadow, but was to much for me. I'm on a Mac, do you know if there is a friendly program to do these shadows?

Thanks cli, will check that book.
Unfortunately I've been out of 3D modeling and special effects for a few yers now and I'm on a PC. I would really have no clue about some of the "easier" programs you could use but I'm sure there's some out there.

Back then I used 3D studio max version 3.1 If I recall correctly. It's not even installed on my PC anymore as I don't do anymore compositing work. The learning curve is a little steep at first but if you have a lot of "shadow" work to do it might be worth it to invest a week or two in knowing how to use the software as you can get some very nice shadows quite easily once you get the hang of it.

I had even written a tutorial on compositing shadow for video back in the days but I have no clue where that tutorial can be found now!

I'm not saying it's the best or easiest way, but it's one way to do it. If you want to find out more there's a very good 3D studio max forum where you could ask for further information on how to do it at http://www.maxforums.org
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:06 PM
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Dave.Cox Dave.Cox is offline
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Re: Realistic Shadows

Yes 3D studio max can generate shadows, but to do so, you have to create a model first. And even then, I find that I usually have to touch up the shadows in photoshop, after I finish the render. I think for your purpose, you should look at learning how to create your shadows in photoshop. The are several ways you can do it, and its worth learning the techniques.
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:37 AM
jvr jvr is offline
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Re: Realistic Shadows

Dave.Cox, what techniques/ways do you mention?
Do you know a book or tutorials where I can take a look
at those techniques?
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  #10  
Old 12-19-2007, 06:41 AM
pellepiano pellepiano is offline
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Re: Realistic Shadows

The shadows will vary a lot depending on the lighting setup. Making believable shadows are very hard ( at least to me ). The 3d method seems like a good method.
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