Figure 8.6

Assigning Matte/Shadow material

12. Click the Display tab of the Command Panel. Click the Unhide All button in the Hide rollout to again display the tree.

13. Press Shift+Q or click the Quick Render button on the main toolbar to generate another rendering. In the RFW save the image as Tree.tga, accepting the Targa options that save a pre-multiplied alpha channel. Close the RFW and Material Editor if they are open.

14. Press Ctrl+Z to undo until the original materials reappear on the objects in the viewport. Click the Unhide All button again.

15. Press H to open the Select Objects dialog box to turn on shadow casting in the sun before rendering the shadow element. Click Sun01 under Compass01 (part of the Sunlight system) and then click Select. Click the Modify tab of the Command Panel and check On in the Shadows group of the General Parameters rollout. Make sure that Area Shadows is selected in the dropdown list box.

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NOTE Area shadows are softer the further they are from the casting edge.

16. Press F10 to open the Render Scene dialog box if it is not already open. Click the Render Elements tab and open the rollout if necessary. Click the Add button and select Shadow from the Render Elements dialog box. Then click OK.

17. In the Render Scene dialog box, click the Browse button in the Selected Element Parameters group to open the Render Element Output File dialog box. Type the filename Shadow.tga and click Save. Click OK in the Targa Image Control dialog box. Figure 8.7 shows the resulting Render Scene dialog box.

Render elements are post-processing effects that appear after the entire color image is rendered. Choose not to show the RFW because you are only interested in the shadows right now.

18. Click the Common tab in the Render Scene dialog box. Scroll down if necessary and clear Rendered Frame Window in the Render Output group because you don't need to see the color rendering.

19. Click the Render button. Be patient as the rendering proceeds. (It should take a few minutes.) When the processing is complete, a Shadow RFW window appears that is all black (black shadows against a black environment background color). Click the Display Alpha Channel button to see the shadow mask (see Figure 8.8).

20. Close the Shadow RFW, but keep the file open in VIZ.

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