animated and paint with project Dogwaffle

Using Shadow Catchers and Motion Blur in Carrara

(c) 2002 -  Don Felipe

I have often wondered how it's done: You see a 3D model rendered against a plain white background. The 3D model casts a shadow down onto what seems to be the ground floor underneath the object, but you can't see the floor, only the shadow. There is no difference in color between the floor and the background - it's all a plain white color blending perfectly with the white color of the web page. 

I used to think you'd place a plane under the object and have to place a bunch of lights all around the part of the plane that gets to be as bright as the white background. But you'd still see some areas fade off to slightly darker tint. And you have to be careful not to have shadows generated by these helper lights. And then you'd have to spend additional time touching it up in an image or paint program, right?  Wrong.

In Carrara this is done much more easily - with the Shadow Catcher. You designate the ground floor object (such as a flat cube or plane) to be a shadow catcher, and voila. The object disappears, but the shadow it catches from the 3D object above still remains, and blends with the white backdrop (or whatever image or colors you have ion the backdrop). Carrara also lets you have motion blur.

Note: This tutorial shows how to do just that. It was done with Carrara Studio 2.1 but most of it should also work with Carrara 3D Basics.

These tutorials use the Viewlet format from Qarbon.
Your browser needs to have JavaScript and Java enabled. (enabling JavaScript will help too to launch it in its own window)
The Viewlet will play in a 800x600 size, set your screen to 1024x768 or better.

Part 1 ___________________________
Putting the parts together
View it now (2,444 kb)
Part 2 ___________________________
The Shadow Catcher
View it now (777 kb)
Part 3 ___________________________
Animate the Rocking Chair
View it now (1,175 kb)
Part 4 ___________________________
Render it
View it now (736 kb)
Part 5 ___________________________
Motion Blur
View it now (431 kb)