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Using Inverted Light Shadows in Carrara

Author: thedanman

Tools Needed

  • Carrara 5

Step 1 - Scene Setup



For this tutorial I used a simple text logo and one spotlight that are both set up to point at and track the camera using the “Point At” modifier. (Refer to my “Camera Tracking Lights and Objects in Carrara” tutorial for details on how to do this)

Step 2 - Configuring Text Shader


To create a light independent glowing object use the Glow setting of the text shader and assign it a value (100% as shown). This allow us to focus on the backlighting rather than worry about lighting the object itself.

Step 3 - Configuring Light Effects


Select the spotlight object and click the “Effects” tab to modify the “Light Cone” effects by first clicking the “Enable” checkbox and then clicking the blue “Edit” button to bring up the window as shown above.


Select the “Enable Light Cone” option and adjust the intensity according to your preferences. You can preview how your settings will look using the “Render” option in the Light Cone window. Under the 3D Shadows portion of the window, click “Enable”, “Invert” and adjust the Shadow Buffer Size noting that higher numbers = more accurate shadows. With these effect enabled you are ready to animate your logo.

Step 4 - Final Render


Use keyframing to create an animation that tracks the camera with the light cone directed towards the camera. The 'shadows' of the scene have now become the light rays which emanate from the logo just as if the light source was coming from the text itself!