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I have two concentric cubes, both UV-textured, and sharing a material. The outer cube has a texture that is partially transparent.

When I render the scene, the inner cube acts as if the outer cube is fully opaque, and no light falls upon it. I'd like the outer cube to only cast a shadow for the opaque parts of its texture, rather than all of it.

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The problem seems to be the lighting. Both the ambient occlusion and the environment lighting are ignoring the transparent part of the outer cube, leaving the inner part completely shadowed.

To work around this, you could:

  • Use lamps. Lamps seem to illuminate the inner cube through the transparent texture fine.

  • Use cycles. The transparent part of the texture is lets light from environment lighting and AO as well as lamps through correctly when rendered with a node setup like this:

    enter image description here

  • Bake AO in cycles (this is currently only available in development builds, but it will be in 2.71) and then use it in BI.

  • Model actual geometry for the outer hat instead of using an alpha texture.

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