Matte Shadow making Object turn Black (still visiable?)

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Matte Shadow making Object turn Black (still visiable?)

Postby sdeming on 12/22/2016, 10:50 am

I have a simple scene here, with Ray traced shadows and I'm trying to get the 'text' layer to cast a shadow on a plane behind it. When I turn on 'matte shadow for the plane, it turns black and is still visible in the scene. Any ideas?

ImageMatte shadow by sdeming
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Re: Matte Shadow making Object turn Black (still visiable?)

Postby hans123 on 12/22/2016, 3:34 pm

Hello sdeming,

put your Shadow-Matte Plane into a separate Group, use for the Plane
the Matte-Shadow Material. Switch ON "Shadows" and "Matte Shadows" (AE, E3D Plugin).
Other Objects (E3D) behind the Shadow Matte Plane are not visible,
but other Layers in AE are visible.

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Re: Matte Shadow making Object turn Black (still visiable?)

Postby BigDaveMattey on 01/31/2019, 8:23 pm

I know this question is a couple years old at this point, but I found it because I have the same issue, so I figured I'd post my solution here in case anyone else gets here the way I did. You can skip down to the fix if you don't want to read the details of what's going on and just want the answer.

::::Begin Details::::
I'd had a problem a while back with shadows and the way Element interprets them, and VCP Support had me do a trick that I tried a variant of with this issue, and it worked.

What I noticed by experimenting is that this is NOT a material issue, it's not a group issue, and the solution is done in AE so you don't have to open Scene Setup in Element or change any of Elements settings at all (except to fine-tune them later). It's all about scaling - both shadows and AO - and if the scene isn't scaled in a way that Element likes, the shadows and AO come out weird. The source of this problem isn't actually that the Matte Shadow plane is still visible, it's that the shadow or AO is too big and goes beyond the edges of the plane, making the entire plane dark and suddenly stopping at the edges, making the plane appear visible. A different but equally "wrong" thing happens if the scene is too big - the shadows don't work at all correctly.

I discovered this particular issue because my 3D model needed to be scaled way down to fit in the scene correctly, and in the process of trying to diagnose the problem, I scaled it back up to 100% and noticed the AO and shadow stuff looked correct. I was able to scale my Group Null up and down and could see the moment the matte shadow plane appeared to "remain visible," so it's a scaling issue. It's the same whether the group null is scaled down, the particle size is lowered, or the model scales are reduced in Element's Scene Setup.
::::End Details::::

1. Create a new null. I call mine "God Null" because it ends up controlling all the other stuff.
2. Parent your camera, group nulls, 3D layers of any kind, and any solids or nulls you've created using the Camera Tracker (or 3rd party tracking data) to the God Null.
3. Scale the God Null up and down, and it should look like nothing is happening, EXCEPT for the shadows/AO. (The background plate is 2D, so it's not changing, and everything else is scaling together so you shouldn't see anything change.)
4. When you get big enough (that's the solution to this particular issue - your Element stuff is too small), tweak your shadow and AO settings to get the look you want.
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Re: Matte Shadow making Object turn Black (still visiable?)

Postby ender772 on 02/4/2019, 3:02 pm

good post...whenever the world is too big or too small you get problems.
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Re: Matte Shadow making Object turn Black (still visiable?)

Postby TGlinskas on 02/21/2019, 5:08 pm

I am having the shadow problems, too. I tried your solution of linking things to the new null. Everything moves when I scale the null. I linked everything but the background footage. So, that's the tracking null, 3d solved camera, Element layer, element group null, and light all linked to the "God Null".

It seems like such a nice, elegant solution, can you please give more details on how you got it to work. I'm using the latest AE 2019 and Element 3D.
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