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I want to cast some light rays from the sky in my scene. As far as I know only way in Blender Internal is to use Spot Lights with Halo enabled. But I don't want the light to actually illuminate the scene, nor have the obstacle which creates the rays to be visible. Can I do this?

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You could

  • Uncheck 'Specular' and 'Diffuse' illumination options in your spot lamp and only check 'Halo' (+ adjust 'Size', 'Intensity', etc. as you like)

    Spot Lamp Settings

    To get some more defined and realistic rays you can add a so called cookie ("stencil") object (e.g. a plane with some holes cut in it). To make it just cast shadows and not show up in the render itself you have set up the "Shadow" section of its material as follows (main part being the "Cast Only" setting): Stencil SHadow Settings

  • Use the Compositor node 'Filter'->'Sun Beams' to get the effect in post

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  • $\begingroup$ When I disable Specular and Diffuse but have Halo enabled, besides getting the volumetric rays, I also get a visible volumetric spot light beam. If I create a "stencil" object so just some beams will pass through, then the stencil object gets rendered too. If I set it to not render, the Spotlight ignores it too. I there a workaround to this? $\endgroup$ – Leo Ervin Dec 13 '15 at 4:02
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, there is. You can apply a cast only material to your "stencil" object. $\endgroup$ – Paul B. Dec 13 '15 at 11:19

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