Drop Shadow Animation

I’m doing an animation of clock hands. The shadow of the object(Hand) looks like it has purple noise colour, which is also the colour of the hand. I understand that it’s reflective due to the material. But the shadow should of been black rather than purple.

Thank you.

Would you be able to post a screenshot of your material nodes and render properties? This could be some sort of ambient occlusion effect, as well. Do you have any ambient occlusion turned on for your materials? What are your indirect lighting settings?

Hey thanks for the reply.

Here’s 2 screenshot. I have turned on the ambient occlusion so I can get better reflections on my rotating object. But from orthographic view, I cant get the drop shadow to be more intense. If you can please take a look at the video animation, you’ll see the drop shadow is hardly there. is the lights incorrectly set up?

Im using EEVEE render.


So, you are using the term “drop shadow” which I am familiar with through 2D graphics editing programs. That term is a way of approximating the real-world effect by dropping a shadow behind the element you are editing. There are usually four settings you control - angle (direction), spread (feather), opacity (transparency), and distance. These allow you to achieve a shadow that corresponds to a light source or sources in the real world.

As you seem to be familiar with this type of effect, let’s walk through the 3D analogue of each of these setting so that you better understand how to get the effect you want.

  • Angle
    – Easy. Imagining your background as a 360° circle, you can control the direction of your shadow by moving your light source in 3D space above, below, to the left, to the right, and anywhere in between.
  • Spread
    – This says how sharp your shadow’s edge is and is based on the size of your light source. A point light or sun will make a sharp shadow (though these lamp sizes can be scared up, too). An area light, emission plane, or HDRI will usually make a soft shadow (as the light source is larger.
  • Opacity
    – This one is a combination of factors - one would be the existence of other lights in your scene. If there are other lights illuminating the area in your shadow, it will be less visible. The other way to darken or lighten your shadow would be through the contrast of your image either through the Color Management properties or through a color correction node in the compositor.
  • Distance
    – This is based on the distance your shading object is away from your background object.

That being said, here are the things you can do to make your shadow show more prominently:

  1. You have a spot light pointed directly at your clock hands. Thus, the shadow the light creates will be directly behind the hands and depending on the size you set for your spotlight, it may be quite spread out and will be very hard to see. You may need to move your light up on the Z axis and aim it down at the hands. That will make the shadow show slightly below your hands instead of directly behind. If you want sharper shadow edges, make your light radius smaller.
  2. Depending on the strength of the HDRI, you have light coming in from all angles, and that will wash out the shadow. To make your shadow more visible, lower your background shader strength.
  3. You have a pretty deep clip distance. This spreads the resolution of your shadow map over a larger distance, lowering the effective resolution of your relatively small clock hands shadows. One thing I can think of to improve your shadow is that you can make your clip start and end smaller so that the shadow map is higher resolution in the areas you want your shadow to show up. Here is the Blender manual page for shadows in Eevee: https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/render/eevee/lighting.html#shadows
    Of course, if you were to render in Cycles, only some of this advice would be the same as it renders light and shadow differently that Eevee.

I hope this helps, and let me know if you need further explanation!

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Thanks for all your information. I’m currently practising setting up light. Ill let you know how this all goes.

Kind regards.