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Testing the new Isolate Shadows function

I tried the new Isolate Shadows function to see how it works. I think the results are quite nice. The objects receive light and shadows from all light sources but are not casting shadows to other objects.

I just expected it to work a bit different. I expected we have a menu like for changing materials but with the option to select from models. The disadvantage now is that when you change the object you always also will reset the camera position. Would it be possible to move this control from the menu of the upper right (also) to a menu located at the object itself? And keep the current camera position?

Anyway, I tried to fo find a way to add the missing shadow below those objects. I created a plane object and added a map with a soft shadow texture and transparent borders. This is not a very accurate way but it helps to give the impression that it casts shadows and is part of the scene.

Here you can see the results (Sofa 3 with and without the helper shadow)
isolate shadows test



Hi @tim,
I join your suggestion. Object selection similar to material selection is a more natural choice, especially for VR users.

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We would like to add an extension to allow to change objects that will be similar to the material picker extension.

As for the shadows on the floor, it would be nice if Shapespark allowed to bake and show shadows on such transparent plane object automatically. Now the shadows on such plane are baked, but because the surface is fully transparent, they have no effect at all.

Hi Jan,
the fake shadows are not baked. I applied the same Isolate Shadows function to it. If not they would be baked and would create a big black shadow. Or am I wrong?

Right, but if you put the plane and the sofa in the same object hierarchy and configure a parent of both objects to isolate shadows, then the plane would receive shadows from the sofa, but would not cast shadow on the floor bellow. Unfortunately the baked shadows on the plane won’t be visible because the plane is fully transparent.

I see. I just tested it. I hoped that when I add a fully transparent PNG as texture the shadow maybe might be visible. But it is not. But when I change the map to a plain white texture I can see that there is a shadow applied to the plane.

Maybe you can create a new material type like the Corona Shadow Catcher Material. This could be applied to a plane, is fully transparent and only receives and shows shadows from the group of the Shadow Isolated Objects where it belongs to.

We are finishing adding support for materials of different types (water will be the first supported type). This should allow to add such shadow catcher.

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This sounds really interesting! What else to expect? Can you give some more info here? :nerd_face:

Unfortunately there isn’t really a lot more . We planned to support water with animated waves, which wasn’t super straightforward because Shapespark so far had only a single material type . After water supported is added, more types should be much easier to add, but we don’t have any immediate plans.

We also experimented with grass material, but without great results.

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After finishing the water material, will it be possible to create better glass materials including refraction?

Refraction effect requires refracted light to be taken from a light probe, this has a drawback of distorting the geometry, similarly how light probe based reflections distort geometry. You can either have accurate geometry visible behind the glass, or refracted but distorted. But in general it should be possible to support refraction, water will also support it.