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Quick and dirty Blender shadow guide (Complete); Steps I perform to make it happen
Topic Started: Sep 21 2014, 02:54 PM (10,616 Views)
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Recommended free tools:
Blender (any version so long Jigebren's Blender plugin works; I used 2.68a)
Gimp (before the change from save as to export for non-XCF formats; I used 2.6)

Pre-requisite: Open Blender, and after enabling Jigebren's Blender plugin through the Addons tab, go into the File tab and set Gimp as your external photo editor.

Optional: Use Link Shell Extension, or from the command line create a folder junction (in Linux, use ln or your FM's link function) to create a temporary folder junction / symbolic link using the path of cars\misc inside your project's folder location, or if the folder is already in your game's cars folder, link that to somewhere in your non-elevated space and never have to worry about UAC prompts to access that data ever.

1. Re-Volt Import the Parameters.txt file of your project; Don't double-click, rather, choose the Re-Volt Import button
1b. If an error log is generated at the upper right, then keep your mouse on it and read it carefully.
2. If no error occurs, you should already be in Object Mode in the 3D View header
3. In the Properties pane under the Object Data tab at the bottom, in the Re-Volt Panel, Create Shadow Polygon
3b. If not already, have all objects selected before then.
4. Ideally, Use a Soft Light
5. Bake Shadow
6. Change panes (or open a new pane) to enter the UV/Image editor
7. In the texture list on the bottom, select "Shadow.bmp"
8. Select Image in the UV/Image editor header, then Save image as...
9. Save it somewhere.
10. Now saved, you can edit the image externally, choosing to do so in the Image menu
11. In Gimp, begin with desaturating the image to void it of odd colors (I prefer the hue / sat tool)
12. Choose Invert under Colors
13. Choose Gaussian Blur... in Filters, specifying a 2x2 radius (don't want to overcook it and blur too far past the image boundary)
13b. Optionally, copy one half (left or right side) of the image and paste
13c. Choose to Flip Horizntally in Transform under Layers
13d. Move the layer to the other side and anchor it
14. Choose to save as, and save as "Shadow.bmp" inside your project folder
14b. Optionally, rename the file to "Shadow.bmq", then use the Scale tool under Image to double its size, then save again. This is one of the few times you can safely use Sinc (Lanczos3) to scale with.
15. Go back to Blender and then choose to Get SHADOWT[ABLE]
16. Go into your project's Parameters.txt file you imported into Blender earlier and paste that in, as well, specifying your shadow location with ;)TSHADOW
17. Save and test; Ideally you should only have to do this once. :)

(I've edited this at least ten times already to correct information, as initial post was severely rushed, and I'm cleaning up after myself.)
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