Our new 3D rendering feature: Ground shadows

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We’re very excited to share a fantastic new rendering feature that, starting today, will be available to our entire community, at every plan level. We’ve been working on this for several months and we’re confident you’re going to love it.

Create automatic ground shadows

Many Sketchfab artists have already come up with clever ways to add a ground shadow to their model so that it doesn’t appear to be floating in space. Typically this is done by adding a plane, and adding a partially transparent texture to it. Now, thanks to our new “Ground Shadows” feature, this can be added automatically to any model!

Here’s an example of the results you get with the “Baked AO”option:

You can learn more by watching the video below, but in short, you can use our “Shadow Catcher” to immediately render real-time shadows from the environment lighting the scene, or if you prefer you can use our “Baked AO” to automatically bake a nice soft shadow texture map based on your lighting set up. In either case you can adjust the floor so if you want your model to float above the ground but still cast a shadow, you can do that too!

And here’s an example of the real-time “Shadow Catcher” in action:

Please note that this feature does require lights of some kind in the scene, so it’s not compatible with our Matcap renderer. As always, for more information on how to use the new feature, check out our documentation in the Help Center.

Featured model credit: New Balance 997 by aizaisia

About the author

Paul Chambers

Paul Chambers

Artist Evangelist & Community outreach at Sketchfab, freelance CG Generalist, render-farm tinkerer. Zelda worshipper.


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