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Chapter 10. Lighting > Shadows in Maya

Shadows in Maya

Shadows in Maya can be turned on or off. The default setting for lights is to have the shadow set to off. Surfaces illuminated by the non-shadow–casting light are still shaded by it, but won't cast shadows onto other surfaces. That means the part of an object that's exposed to light is illuminated, and the object's opposite side fades to a darker tone. It also means that the light passes through all objects, illuminating objects that are blocked by other objects.

An object's shadow can identify its size, position, and orientation in space, so by adding shadows to your scene, you can more clearly define the spatial relationships between objects. Without shadows in a scene, the render looks flat and lacks depth. Shadows add depth and realism to the scene, especially indoor scenes. Look back at Figure 10.8, and you can see that it's hard to say whether the objects are on the ground or are floating in the air between the camera and the ground.


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