Friday, January 6, 2017

Remote Cast Shadows

How do cast shadows change when the object casting them gets farther away?

In this video, you can see how the shadows get blurrier as the branches move progressively farther away. The clip is an excerpt from my Gumroad tutorial "How I Paint Dinosaurs."

In any real forest setting, shadows are cast from branches that are a variety of sizes and distances from the dinosaur. Using a scale maquette of both the dinosaur and the branches is particularly useful for reference, because the lighting effect scales up proportionally.

If you're getting this post by email, you might need to follow this link to see the video.

Equipment shown:
Matthews C Stand (Century Stand)
Extension grip arm

Previous posts about cast shadows
Casting long shadows to suggest ground contours
Cast shadows, part 1
Cast shadows, part 2
Chromatic shadows
Dappled light

Links to my other social channels 
iOS app GurneyJourney Blog
Instagram @jamesgurneyart
Twitter @GurneyJourney
Facebook JamesMGurney
Pinterest GurneyJourney
YouTube GurneyJourney
Gouache in the Wild Tutorial


David Webb said...

There's a large building in our town, with a plain white wall. Two trees cast shadows on it at a certain time of day. The nearest one to the wall casts a sharp-edged shadow, while the farther one creates a much softer, blurred image.
Every time I see this unique light effect I feel the urge to grab the nearest passer by and point out this fascinating spectacle, and share the moment...

However, I strongly suspect that most bag-laden shoppers would just look at me like I've been in the sun a little too long.

Oh well.

Warren JB said...

Ah, David, you're not alone.

And a timely reminder of gaps in my video library. To Gumroad!

Chris Jouan said...

So an object that starts close to the shaded surface and progresses away would leave a progressively blurred shadow? Say a telephone pole on a street with a low angle sun for instance.

David Webb said...

Yes Chris. A shadow cast by a lamp post, telephone pole, or similar, will be sharpest at the base, where it meets the pavement/sidewalk. As you follow the shadow along though, it gets increasingly less distinct as stray light enters from the sides. You can even see the effect if you stand a pencil on end in a patch of sun.