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This node calculates the shadows that an irregular surface would cast on itself if it were illuminated by a point light.  The data for constructing the surface is obtained from its input.


Note that the appropriate way to combine the results of Point Light and Shadow nodes is multiplication, as illustrated by the following image.



Multiplying Shadows



However, once highlights and shadows have been properly combined as shown above, the results of multiple highlight-shadow combinations should be added, as shown below.



Adding Lights






This node accepts one input, which it uses as a height map for constructing a three-dimensional surface.  Only the red channel of the input is used.











The small white circle on the surface of the light sphere in the Properties panel specifies the relative location of the light source casting shadows onto the height map.  Change the location of the light by dragging the white circle, or by changing the values within the rotation angle and elevation angle fields below the light sphere.

Height Factor

This property scales all values of the input height map by a given factor to quickly change overall elevations.  Entering a negative value will reverse elevations.

Shadow Strength

Increasing this value results in blacker shadows, while decreasing the value results in softer shadows that fade off at the end.  Values of 0.2 or less are especially soft.

Skip for Color Only

During color-only renders, certain parts of a texture, usually those adding highlights or shadows, are skipped so that a flat-looking version is created.  Activating this property will cause the Shadow node to render as if it had a Height Factor of zero during color-only renders, thus flattening away any shadows.  This property doesn't have an effect during normal renders.  More information on color-only rendering can be found in the Using Effect Maps tutorial.




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