Software: Blender version 2.70a

After a series of tests, adding a shadow catcher in Blender is easy with the Blender Internal as my default renderer–without the need of node compositing. Here’s the sample rendered in Blender Internal with an added effect of defocus node for my viewing pleasure :p.

shadtransparent

Using the same model (again), with a HDR file as my environment, I added a mesh plane for the shadow catcher.

shadow5a

The set-up:

shadowcatchplane4

1. Select the mesh plane, check the ‘Shadows Only’ on the material.

Optional: The ‘Receive Transparent’ are for textures with transparency (pngs)

2. For the environment: Click the World tab then go to Texture. Add, change the clouds type to image, then upload the hdr file

worldsettingtexture1

worldsettingtexture2

3. Change the coordinates to ‘Equirectangular,’ and the influence to ‘Horizon.’

worldsetting3

4. Back to the World setting, enable the Real Sky

5. Render

shadow_transparent6

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