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Say I wanted to make a render of a ghost. The ghost must be invisible to the camera, but it must still cast a shadow on the ground. How can I block light from passing though an object that is invisible?

Stock photo for example.

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If you are using cycles you just have to disable camera visibility.

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Alternatively you can make a shader that uses the camera ray as a mix factor for your figure's shader and a transparent one. The camera will not see the object but it will still cast a shadow.

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This can be done in Eevee. Give your object a tranparent shader, and set the blend mode to 'Alpha Blend' or 'Alpha Clip' in the materials tab. Make sure to keep the shadow mode set to 'Opaque'.example

You can't control the opacity of the shadows with this method, but it works for most cases. It also gets rid of the black square problem at intersections.

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