Can shadows be confined to a layer?

Can shadows be kept to separate render layers when rendering in 2.5? I’ve got a project where I am trying to render layers separately and use the node compositor to spit out a frame from each layer’s render. It all seems to work okay except that the shadows from object in one layer also appear on another layer.

I have all the needed scene layers turned on, three. The camera and the lights are in one layer. The first object is in the second layer and the other object is in the third layer.

So for one render layer, I have the first and second layers turned on to render one object, and in the next render layer, I have the first and third layers turned one to render the other object. But in both cases, I’m still getting shadows from the object in the layer that is turned off.

Is there a way to have shadow and light confined to a layer when using several scene layers at one time for rendering? I have a number of very short different scenes and I want to be able to set a render and walk away for lunch, or maybe overnight.



It’s possible to tell a particular lamp to only cast shadows on a layer the lamp is on. As well as tell it to only cast shadows for an object rather than illuminate it.

Here is a screenshot showing the locations of the various options (highlighted in yellow) when a lamp is selected:

For the Lamp section the “This Layer Only” item, when selected makes the lamp only illuminate objects on the same layers as the lamp.

For the Shadow section the “This Layer Only” item, when selected makes only objects that are on the same layers as the lamp get shadows cast on it.

The “Only Shadows” option cause the selected lamp to not illuminate an object but instead just generate shadows.

So with a bit of messing you could setup a few render layers and have only that only catches shadows.

Hope this is some help, not entirely sure its what you need though.

thanks terry_wallwork.

I tested it and It is a good work-around. Of course the lazy man in me wants it so that I can just set one set of lights and everything can be rendered layer by layer. Blender 3.0 perhaps. :wink: