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I have baked a floor onto a texture which then I plugged onto an emission shader. However, the floor no longer receives shadows because of it.

However I have a character walking on the floor and I need the character to cast a shadow on the floor. How do I make the emission shader receive shadows?

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3 Answers 3

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You can't, either use a shadowcatcher plane that you composite on top of your footage or don't use Emission shader on a surface that is supposed to receive shadow.

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  • $\begingroup$ So, baking scenes for animation is a waste of time? $\endgroup$
    – user15147
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ What? No, this has nothing to do with baking. Just plug your texture into a diffuse shader or a Principled BSDF to get shadows. Emission Shader is usually used when you don't want shadow or when you want your material to act like a light. $\endgroup$
    – globglob
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 14:47
  • $\begingroup$ It has everything to do with baking. I baked the scene to get fast render times. The only way to get baked textures inside without consuming resource is with emmission shader. But it doesn't receive shadows. So it's useless to bake textures for animation to reduce rendertimes. $\endgroup$
    – user15147
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 14:56
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    $\begingroup$ You would only bake components, that are not supposed to change. You wouldn't bake a wall diffuse components if the character is standing in front of it and casting a shadow, but you could bake the backlit translucency if the backlighting is not going to change during the shot. $\endgroup$
    – Leander
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 15:04
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    $\begingroup$ Also you don't have to keep your texture plugged to an emission node once baked anyway. Again, this has nothing to do with baking. $\endgroup$
    – globglob
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 15:08
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You actually can do that, I was looking for an answer but I figured it out You will need to bake an indirect lightmap + a combined lightmap next connect them to MixRGB node , the factor will be an diffuse to color ramp node like shown in the image below.

enter image description here

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I'v stumped upon same issue, I have emission material and want to cast shadow's on it and here is how I did it. In blender 3.41 (I don't know when but eevee got shadow pass too), Im basically projection movie on to mesh and Im using emission shader to do it like on picture below

enter image description here

then you need to enable shadow in layer properties

enter image description here

then in compositor you need to add mix shader and set it to multiply and plug shadow pass in it and for soft shadows decrease factor to let say .8

enter image description here

and there you go hit render and you have shadows on top of emission surface

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  • $\begingroup$ I see Shadow catcher, is that the same thing? $\endgroup$
    – Neil
    Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 15:29

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