Starting from version 2.79 any mesh object can be set as Shadow Catcher.
Select object (like a Plane) and check this option.
2.79 located in Properties Editor > Object > Cycles Settings
2.8x located in Properties Editor > Object > Visibility
But ... since this shadow catcher can receive only shadow (limits are ...
First you need to jump over the the Node Editor view, then select Shader Nodes and World. Also make sure Use Nodes is checked.
Then add a Noise Texture node and a Color Ramp node. Plug the Fac of the noise texture into the Color Ramp, and the Color of the Color Ramp into the Color of the default Background shader.
You can then adjust the Color Ramp and ...
Setting a World Environment Background Texture in Cycles
You can easily set a very nice background image for your world by creating an Environment Texture for your World.
You can use many different kinds of background images, but one of the best types for creating a beautiful 360° background is an HDRI (High Dynamic Range Image). These types of images are ...
One quick way to achieve this using Blender Internal is to select the plane and add a new material, in the material settings under shadow, enable Shadows Only.
Next, you can optionally enable transparency, use Z Transparency and use the alpha slider to control the strength/darkness of the shadow.
To further enhance this and add to the realism, you can ...
You may do it using Noise Texture and Color Ramp nodes. Set them up as pictured below.
Here's the result.
Play with the settings pictured below (marked as red) for different effects (like stars density, brightness, etc.).
Here is how I solved this - and there's a download link at the end.
(Coordinates written as 1,2,3 refer to X:1 Y:2 Z:3, for example.)
Setting up the "Cube Cam"
Add a Camera and an Empty at location 0,0,0 and set rotation of each to 90,0,0 degrees. If you choose "Arrows" for the Empty display type it may help avoid confusion later.
Parent the Camera to ...
It's not really possible to create a truly infinite plane in blender, but such a plane wouldn't help you isolate an object on a uniform background. Even an infinite plane still has a horizon.
To isolate an object (with its shadow) against an arbitrary background, what you really want is a shadow catcher. This is an object which renders as ...
Stars feature has been dropped from Blender Internal render engine. See here. However, the official release 2.69 still has it. You can either choose that version, or find another way to get the same result.
A noise texture which fac is clamped by a less than reduces the influence of the second input of the add rgb.
A noise texture is kind of random pixels, specially at high scale. From that, if we clamp its result by a less than or greater than (or colorramp), then you will pick a partial amount of this randomness.
In particular here, that ...
You could merge all your world settings into one world setting and animate node properties.
You could use a mix node, as shown below, to animate between different HDR images and animate the factor from 0 to 1 to switch between them. Adding additional mix nodes after the first one would allow you mix between as many HDR images as you want.
Keyframes can be ...
If you are trying to use the image as a sky/panorama background, you probably want the Environment texture node instead of the Image texture node.
The environment node will let you use panorama projection types (Mirror Ball and Equirectangular) This is the only difference between the two nodes, see What are the differences between an environment node and a ...
This is because you are using Cycles as your render engine.
Here is the correct wiki page.
Those settings you saw are only there when Blender Render (also known as Blender Internal or BI) is selected as the active render engine in the Info panel > Header:
Note you can do everything that you could do using those settings in BI in Cycles, however the ...
First, set a world background.
Then, go to the Render context in Properties and enable Transparent (in the Film panel).
Create two render layers. For the first one, enable Mist (in the Passes panel). For the second render layer, disable Combined and Z, and enable Environment. Also, under Exclude, select all layers (we only want the background texture).
You can append the world settings from this file to yours.
To append type Shift + F1 or go to File --> Append.
Navigate to where you saved this file, then click it, and then the world "subfolder". Select the item called "World" within.
Then go to your world settings in the Properties Windows --> World Tab, and choose the new world (Probably "World.001") ...
It is under the Properties Window > World Settings > Surface change Sampling from Auto to Manual.
Multiple importance sampling is only available for volumes, under Volume > Sampling change from Equiangular to Multiple Importance.
I have added even a Milky Way using the Wave texture and some math!
I got a Wave texture, put through a color ramp (I have changed the direction from black to white, but it doesn't matter), and I have got a noise with a color ramp set up with less bright (through color ramp) and less big (with the scale factor of the noise), and I used the maths tool to ...
It's because you are in ortho view, so you will only see one pixel of the background image at a time (if you move the 3D view around, the background color should change).
Switch to perspective (Numpad 5), and it should appear normally.
Switch to perspective view mode in the viewport (Numpad 5). When in orthographic view, which is what you are in now, the world background cannot be properly displayed. Instead, you get a single color based on (I think) the color of the pixel that you are facing. If you have a background with more colors, you will see the color change as you rotate around. ...
I'm not sure I can justify every node here mathematically.. top row power node, adjusts variance in star size, multiply node maps into the threshold given by the color ramp... they all interact, but I've found it quite controllable...
...but it's the bottom row, which colors the stars and multiplies the color with the greyscale generated by the top row that ...
You can adjust the material preview world shading by clicking the drop-down to the right of the shading icons.
Enable 'Scene Lights' and 'Scene World' to use your scene's illumination instead of the material preview presets. You can select different HDRI worlds by clicking the sphere or adjust the other settings. Clicking the 'cog' takes you to the ...
Like Leon said, Blender Render Internal no longer supports simple checkbox, but it does support adding a Stucci Texture that is really easy to do and does the same thing as the checkbox, but gives you a bit more control over the stars. This method has one drawback as far as I can tell - if you use he Mist checkbox, the stars appear in the mist and can ...
I'll probably get myself defrocked for this because what I'm offering is more an alternative to shadowing because it's so easy to achieve and is completely independent of Blender's lighting restrictions, quirks etc.
The method is kindergarten level, crude even, but it works!
It's entirely flexible and has the added advantage of being able to
assume any ...
To understand why, it would require dissecting a typical JPEG transfer curve.
The TL;DR is that a typical display referred photograph encoded to sRGB can only encode approximately two and a bit stops over middle grey, where middle grey is mapped to 0.18. 0.18+0.18 is one stop to 0.36, 0.36+0.36 is two stops to 0.72, and 0.72+0.72 is 1.44 for ...