Soft shadows with point light

Just got my Essential Blender and did the Lighting/Rendering and Rendering/Compositing tutorials. Awesome!! A huge thanks to all who contributed to this great reference! My questiion is: Is there a way to soften or blur the ray-traced shadows cast from a point light? I thought maybe this would be possible using nodes, but couldn’t get good results. My scene needs a point light as it has a candle as its only light source so area or spots don’t seem to work as they are too directional. I searched the forums but didn’t see much info on this. Any ideas?
Michael :eyebrowlift:

What you are looking for are Area Lights. At least that’s the solution I came up with. They’re faster than Radiosity and cheaply deliver some of the same effect.
Here’s a link that might be helpful -

the only way to make soft shadows with point light is only using Yafray,it can make the point light’s shadow blured

Thanks for the replies,
TaskMaster: I tried area lights and spots but I need the light source to be omni-directional as I am modeling a candle and want a point light to be the only source of illumination and not directional in nature.
Master Danix: I have been thinking about using Yafray so I might try it today.

It helps in this situation if you stop thinking of it as a physical simulation, and get a little tricky instead. To achieve the effect your after, just use multiple lights.

Use one omni-directional light source of your choice at the location of the flame, and turn off the Ray Shadow property in the Shading tab. Then add area lights pointed in the direction of everything you want to have a soft shadow, and in Shading for those lights use the OnlyShadow (this prevents the lights from actually “lighting” anything).

If you wanted to get even trickier, you could use layers to define which lights affect which objects.

Thanks for this info - I’ll give it a try tonight! Michael :slight_smile:

Another possibility - Create a small ring (un-capped cylinder - 8-12 faces) parent a spot light and use duplifaces.

This tut gives the general idea using dupliverts instead of duplifaces.

Thanks for another possible solution - I haven’t had time to try any of them yet - wish I could be a full-time blenderhead, then maybe I could help other as much as you guys help me! Michael