Stopsecret tutorial #001: Soft Shadows in Blender

Blender knowledge assumed: Familiarity with the interface and creating objects.

Hi all! this is the first tutorial for this website, and it addresses a problem you may have had in Blender getting soft shadows. So let’s get started. First of all, my default setup here is a UV Sphere on a plane… when rendered it looks like this:

First rendering pass
First rendering pass

Very basic as you can see. In order to control the shadows in the scene you need to go into your main light’s settings. From here go to Shadow –> Soft size, and Shadow –> Samples. Soft size controls the blur of the shadow and samples controls graininess (higher is less grainy, but takes longer to render!). With the samples set to 20, and the Soft Size set to 7, our next pass looks something like this:

Second Rendering Pass
Second Rendering Pass

One more thing. To make it just a bit prettier, we will add Environment lighting. Go to the icon that looks like a globe, and turn it on. Set the energy to 0.1 and under the Gather menu, set the samples (again, samples control graininess at the expense of render time) to 20. If you have a slower computer, obviously you will want to set this value lower so you can render your scene quicker. The finished rendering should look somewhat like this:

Third Rendering Pass
Third Rendering Pass

And you are all set! You now know how to render soft shadowing in Blender. Thank you for visiting and I hope this tutorial was applicable to you! This being the first tutorial on this site, feedback is strongly appreciated! 🙂


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( I have been doing 3d for awhile now and have become skilled in both the worlds of 3d design and game development. As such, i have created a blog to show my artistic talent and share tutorials with others :)

3 thoughts on “Stopsecret tutorial #001: Soft Shadows in Blender”

  1. Wow! I’ve always wondered how to get a softer shadow. It makes the render more similar to something rendered in Cycles or Luxrender. It’s awesome!

Comments and feedback are appreciated :)

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