Soft shadows using nodes

I was wondering if it’s possible to fake soft shadows as a post-process filter. I was inspired by an idea on blenderstorm that asked for such a feature. I think it’s pretty useless, but it might be interesting at least. I got these results (before/after):

You can download the attached blend file. Note that the noodle uses shadow, normal and Z pass, but it doesn’t (and can’t) calculate with distance of the light source. The adjustable value alters blur factor (high values make colors spill too much).

What I noticed, many nodes can’t handle generic input even if it fits needed type. For example, Directional Blur can’t use any Normal value, but only Speed render pass. Another one is Map UV node that can handle only render output and not loaded image, for example.


softshadow.blend (168 KB)

This is good. I can su the use of this if you want to cut rendertimes in animations.

This is actually what the Bilateral Blur node is for.

Blend file:

I wish some of these could be real time… like some kind of material node setup… but there are no shadow-related things you can do with material nodes :frowning: Still, cool, since it is very fast and doesn’t require many samples.