In Blender Cycles, can a material be formatted so that, when rendering, it ONLY shows the shadows that were cast upon it by objects? This could be used when using a 360° HDRI as world background, to have an object appear to cast shadows on the background.

As an example, in the picture the plane is added to give the cube a shadow. Unfortunately the entire plane keeps showing up in the rendering. I would like to render the cube and the shadow ONLY, as to generate the impression that the cube is sitting on the road deck. Making the material of the plane (but not the shadow) invisible/transparent would do the job. The question is, how?

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    $\begingroup$ Do you mean a shadow catcher: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/19765/…? $\endgroup$ – p2or Jan 5 '16 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but surely there must be a less complicated way for such a common issue. I understand that in Blender Render there is a simple "shadows only" check box in the materials panel that does the job ... $\endgroup$ – TavernSenses Jan 5 '16 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ AFAIK there is no other way at the moment, see gandalf's comment below the other question. $\endgroup$ – p2or Jan 5 '16 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ OK. Is there a page where functionalities like this one can be suggested for incorporation into future Blender versions? $\endgroup$ – TavernSenses Jan 6 '16 at 12:47
  • $\begingroup$ Other options for cycles are listed here: blender.stackexchange.com/a/26686/3710, unfortunately not less complicated. $\endgroup$ – p2or Jan 6 '16 at 13:06