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


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

The VRayShadows render element is the product of multiplying the vrayRE_Raw_Shadow Render Element with the vrayRE_Diffuse Render Element in the composite.

Specific objects can be excluded from this Render Element by disabling the Generate Render Elements option in the VRayObjectProperties node for the selected object(s).
UI Path: ||Display Render Settings button|| > Render Elements tab > Shadow



To use render elements, select from the Available render elements column and click the Add button to add the passes you wish to generate at render time. When you render the scene, the added render elements listed in the column on the right, will also render, which can be viewed from the VFB window's channel drop-down menu.

For more information on the parameters on this dialog, see the Render Elements tab page.



The parameters for this render element appear in the Attribute Editor under Extra V-Ray Attributes.


Enabled – 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.

Filename suffix – The text added to the end of the rendered file, when saved as a separate file (e.g. myrender.shadow.vrimg).

Apply color mapping – Applies the color mapping options specified in the Color mapping rollout of the VRay tab in the Render Settings window to this render element. This option is enabled by default.

Denoise – Enables the render element's denoising, provided the Denoiser render element is present.





Common Uses

The Shadow Render Element is useful for changing the appearance of shadowed areas in a compositing or image editing application. Below are examples of possible uses.



Shadow Render Element


Original Beauty Composite




Contrast added to the Shadows Render Element



Underlying Compositing Equation

vrayRE_Raw_Shadow x vrayRE_Diffuse = vrayRE_Shadow





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

  • Shadows can be color-corrected using the vrayRE_Shadow element.

  • When rendering with V-Ray GPU CUDA, the Shadow Render Element is incompatible with Adaptive Lights and may render incorrectly if used together.