It's really simple: Shadows won't be cast. I checked the light source to cast shadows, but they aren't cast.

I want a text to cast shadows. I want to place the text on a surface within some video footage.

I already traced the camera motion with tracking and managed to align the text with the markers placed on that surface.

I also don't know how to make the shadow cast appear but not the surface.

I animate the text in the 3D-view and then place the animated scene over the footage over as a strip in the Video Sequence Editor.

Yes there is a surface to catch the shadow, Yes there is a light source.

I tried following some tutorials, but they either have some weird options in them that my blender version doesn't (2.76) or their objects just cast shadows by themselves by default.

  • $\begingroup$ I recomend you to use 2.79. It has a casting shadow buttton to speed the process. Just select the surface and click the cast shadow button. $\endgroup$
    – LeoNas
    Oct 23, 2017 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know how to update. the Software center says I'm up to date and I don't know how to install freshly from a proper source. I got the latest blender .tar.bz2 $\endgroup$
    – Keen Gaze
    Oct 24, 2017 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ You must download and install it again. $\endgroup$
    – LeoNas
    Oct 24, 2017 at 16:07
  • $\begingroup$ I'm sorry, but I just don't see it. I installed 2.79 and there is no "shadow cast" button. Also, I just noticed that the text as it shows up in the VSE will not assume the colour I set for it under "Material" It will always appear grey. Int he viewport it will appear the correct colour.And the plane that I put BEHIND the text will always appear as if it is in front of it in the rendered view. It will also alway be black, even if I set it to transparent and white, even if I set it to another layer. It will always be black and block the text. $\endgroup$
    – Keen Gaze
    Oct 25, 2017 at 11:27

1 Answer 1


I recomend you to use 2.79.

First switch to Cycles render.

It has a shadow catcher checker box to speed the process.

Just select the surface and enable the shadow catcher in cyles settings panel in the object tab.

See the image below:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, it helped. However I am looking for the options that let me define the coarseness of the shadow. Right now it's just a bunch of black pixels. how do I turn it into a homogenous area? Also, a sun-lamp casts a very coarse shadow, should I just use a spotlight instead?, since that has a more satisfyable result. $\endgroup$
    – Keen Gaze
    Oct 25, 2017 at 18:59

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