Cinema 4D: The Free Shadow Catcher Plugin

C4D Cinema4d Motiongraphics Tutorial

In this quick tutorial I’ll show you how to use the free Shadow Catcher plug-in in Cinema 4D to make realistic composites in After Effects. This plugin is really handy, so make sure to check out the tutorial. I’m excited to once again guest post over at Motionworks with John Dickinson.

Click here to view the tutorial:

Click here to get the free plugin:

    1. Greg

      Nice explanation of how to use shadow-catcher. I have been using it a for a little while now but I always seem to have problem when trying to use it with GI.

      Sometimes I can get around it using composite tags and excluding items, reflections, or some other option but there never seems to be a clear cut way to do it. And it still looks too harsh some times.

      I was wondering if you found away around this?

    2. Joren

      Hey Greg, yes there are definitely some problems with the plugin. It’s not always a perfect solution, and another thing that is too bad is the amount of time added to renders. But if you’re not doing GI and don’t need reflections, it’s a very quick and easy solution. Also, I find myself using GI less and less all the time, because I find it better to light a scene correctly and have fast render times without problems with jittery shadows.

    3. Essence

      Hey, you’re the goto expert. Thanks for hngaing out here.

    4. Brad Nesseth - Rastermind
      Brad Nesseth - Rastermind06-23-2011

      Another issue with this plug-in is that it doesn’t seem work with the Area lights or the GSG light kit. Maybe someday Maxon will build a better light-catcher?

    5. Tim Stotz
      Tim Stotz03-08-2012

      Are there any words on updates for r13, or any improvements with this and GI?

    6. AtlDesigner

      It works with the GSG Light Kit for me… at least when I was experimenting with still compositing in photoshop… Haven’t experimented with the GSG kit and the plugin with motion yet…

    7. Iffi

      Glad to read your post :). It is very informative!

    8. Remington

      This is great, but there’s gotta be a quicker way, in terms of render time. It just turned my :20 second render, into a 10:00 minute render. That’s a big deal. Good thing I only need one frame. It’s a very simple frame too.

    9. David Biederbeck
      David Biederbeck11-17-2013

      Hey Joren,
      How is this different than a shadow pass? I typically just render out with the floor and object buffer the object to take away the floor.

      Then add shadow back in.

      Just curious for a class I’m teaching on compositing.

      • Joren

        Your way works fine too man, I think I’ve heard like 4 or 5 different ways people do it, so just do what works for you and you find easiest!

    10. aaa

      Wow render times are brutal.

    11. Jim

      Thanks for making this information available. I have the plugin but my problem is I don’t see a specific plugin folder to place it in. I’m using Lite which comes inside the After Effects folder. AE has a plugin folder but I don’t see where the shadow catcher plugin should be placed in the Cineware folder?

      • Joren

        Hey Jim, I’ll check into it, but at the moment I’m not sure since I haven’t really used Lite much. You should hit up the creator of the plugin as well and just see if he can help you out, he might know…

    12. Kirill

      Hi Joren,
      Looks like the link to plugin is broken.
      Thank you,

    Leave a Reply