Table of Contents

This page gives some basic details about the Shadow Render Element and how it is used in compositing.


The Shadows Render Element works as a reverse mask for shadows. It is a color image that can be used to lighten, darken or tint shadows. Shadows can be lightened in the composite by adding this render element, or darkened by subtracting this render pass from the final composite.

The VRayShadows Render Element is the product of multiplying the VRayRawShadow Render Element with the VRayDiffuseFilter Render Element in the composite.



This render element is enabled through the Render Elements tab of the Render Setup window in 3ds Max and displays its parameters in a rollout at the bottom of the window:

VRayVFB – When enabled, the render element appears in the V-Ray Virtual Frame Buffer.

Deep output – Specifies whether to include this render element in deep images.

Color mapping – Applies the color mapping options specified in the Color mapping rollout (Render Setup window > V-Ray tab) to this render element. This option is enabled by default.

Multiplier – Sets the overall intensity of the render element, where 1.0 is the standard multiplier.

Denoise –  Specifies whether to denoise this render element.



Common Uses

The Shadows Render Element is useful for changing the appearance of shadowed areas in a compositing or image editing application. In the example the Shadow RE is subtracted from the Beauty element, resulting in a darker render.


Underlying Compositing Equation

VRayRawShadow x VRayDiffuseFilter = VRayShadows



  • The VRayShadows Render Element can be both added and subtracted with the final beauty comp at a composite level without rerendering.

  •  Shadows can be color-corrected using the VRayShadows Render Element.

  • When rendering with V-Ray GPU CUDA, the VRayShadows Render Element is incompatible with Adaptive Lights and may render incorrectly if used together. The light evaluation mode can be adjusted from the Global Switches rollout in Advanced mode.
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