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Shadow Catcher#

The Shadow Catcher is a dedicated material which simplifies live action integration by allowing to easily receive shadows and color bleeding of CG elements on background plates. The material also declare a set of custom AOVs in order to rebuild the beauty in a compositing package. Please refer to the AOVs section at the bottom of this page for additional information.

Shadow Catcher

Emission Color#

The Emission Color attribute sets the color used by the underlying shadow catcher object for emission purposes. You can either assign a color to approximately match your plate, or bind the Emission Color attribute directly to your environment texture set to environment projection mode.

Attribute Description
Emission Color Color used for emission

Default Emission (1,1,1)

Default Emission = 1,1,1

Same texture of the environment light used in Emission through Environment projection


Opacity Mode#

The Opacity Mode attribute sets the opacity behavior for primary and transmission rays. Options are described below:

Attribute Description
Black Hole Alpha cuts out any object behind.
Transparent Alpha is transparent
Solid Alpha is solid

Black Hole



Catch Illumination#

The Catch Illumination attribute toggles whether the shadow catcher itself is affected by the rendered assets.

Attribute Description
Catch Illumination Set whether the shadow catcher also catches indirect illumination or not

Catch Illumination set to Off

Catch Illumination set to On


When Catch Illumination is enabled, notice how the yellow ball cast an additional bounce on the background plate.

Ignore Normal#

The Ignore Normal attribute disables the normals of the catcher. This lets you catch shadows in a more convincing way on complex environments.

Attribute Description
Ignore Normal Remove illumination and shadowing artifacts caused by uneven surfaces

Ignore Normal set to Off (Default)

=== "Off (Shadows AOV) Ignore Normal set to Off (shadow pass)

Ignore Normal set to On

=== "On (Shadows AOV) Ignore Normal set to On (shadow pass)

Underlying Material#

The Underlying Material attribute allows the use of a custom material to define properties of the underlying shadow catcher surface so that it defines how it catches indirect illumination.

Attribute Description
Underlying Material Material used to catch illumination and shadows

Illumination Material = Standard Material, Spec Roughness = 1

Illumination Material = Standard Material, Spec Roughness = 1, Sphere Caustics = Full


The Shadow Catcher defines a set of AOVs that are available in the AOV Editor under pbr/catcher. Make sure to use the Clarisse specific unoccluded LPE event to extract diffuse, reflection and transmission occlusions in your custom LPEs.

AOV Name Description
pbr_catcher_opacity Opacity (1.0 - occluded_color / unoccluded_color)
pbr_catcher_diffuse Diffuse contribution (diffuse transmission + diffuse reflection)
pbr_catcher_diffuse_transmission Diffuse transmission contribution
pbr_catcher_diffuse_reflection Diffuse reflection contribution
pbr_catcher_glossy Glossy contribution (glossy transmission + glossy reflection)
pbr_catcher_glossy_transmission Glossy transmission contribution
pbr_catcher_glossy_reflection Glossy Reflection contribution
pbr_catcher_specular Specular contribution (specular transmission + specular reflection)
pbr_catcher_specular_transmission Specular transmission contribution
pbr_catcher_specular_reflection Specular reflection contribution
pbr_catcher_spec-gloss Both specular and glossy contributions (specular/glossy transmission + specular/glossy reflection)
pbr_catcher_spec-gloss_transmission Both specular and glossy transmission contributions (specular transmission + glossy transmission)
pbr_catcher_spec-gloss_reflection Both specular and glossy reflection contributions (specular reflection + glossy reflection)
pbr_catcher_subsurface Subsurface contribution
pbr_catcher_volume Volume contribution