When doing full 3D compositing with Cinema 4D, one of the trickiest things to achieve is casting shadows from 3D objects onto a background plate, in order to create the illusion that 3D objects are sitting on the surface and casting correct shadows. In the past, I've created other videos on how to achieve this, including using a Multi-Pass workflow with a separate pass for shadows, as well as Using the Composite Background in the Compositing Tag to achieve this result. The new Shadow Catcher in Cinema 4D R18 introduces another workflow to achieve this result.
The shadow catcher in C4D R18 is a new shader option in the materials manager. Once created, you can apply it to a ground plane, so when you render a 3D scene, shadows will be rendered on an alpha channel. You can also use the R18 Shadow Catcher to catch reflections. By using this method, 3D renders and footage can be composited together in Photoshop or After Effects, with shadows present in the Cinema 4D render.
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To take a deeper look at new features in Cinema 4D R18, be sure to check out some of these additional articles focusing on other updates and new features for R18:
• Top 5 New Features of R18
• MoGraph updates and new Effectors for R18
• Voronoi Fracture, a New MoGraph Feature
• Inverted Ambient Occlusion
• Working with the new Thinfilm Shader
• How to use the new Parallax Bump Map Feature
• Using the Substance Materials Workflow
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