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The shadows that appear in a scene are affected by a combination of the layout of objects, the shape of the objects, the materials of the objects, and the lighting. In Blender, the Display Mode (Single Texture, Multitexture,or GLSL) also affects the appearance of shadows. See Doc:2.6/Manual/Lighting/Shadows for a more complete description of this subject.

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Shadows in 3D mode
To see shadows in 3D (textured) mode, you must have switched to GLSL mode before making any materials. In MultiTexture mode, shadows only appear in the rendered image: none of these can be seen in the preview image.

Fig. 1: Shadow Panel.

The Shadow panel in the Materials Properties window (Fig. 1) controls the effects that the material can have on the shadows that appear in the scene. The various properties are described in the sections below.

Fig. 2: Scene- all shadow properties off.


The following properties can be set for each individual material with which objects in the scene are shaded. The effects are illustrated with rendered images for a simple scene (Fig. 2) consisting of two "posts", one with a red (totally non-transparent) material; one green (partially transparent) material, set up on a light blue plane to receive the shadows. The illustrations were all taken in Blender Render engine, with Multitexture mode.

Shadow Receiving Object Material

The following options affect the material that receives shadows:

Allows this material to receive full-intensity shadows (Fig. 3).
Receive Transparent
Allows this material to receive shadows whose intensity is modified by the transparency and color of the shadow-casting object (Fig. 4).

Fig. 3: Plane - Receive.
Fig. 4: Plane - Receive + Receive Transparency.

Shadow Casting Object Material

The following options affect the material that casts shadows:

Cast Only
Material appears transparent, but it still casts shadows (Fig. 5).
Casting Alpha
Shadows Only
Material appears transparent except for where it receives shadows from other objects, and also it retains its own transparency (Fig. 6). Note the faint image of the partly-transparent post.
Shadow and Distance

Fig. 5: Posts - Cast Only.
Fig. 6: Posts - Shadows Only.

Buffered Shadow Options

In addition to the shadow options described above, there are further material properties which control buffered shadow features. See section on Spot Buffered Shadows for further discussion of these techniques.

Cast Buffer Shadow
Casts shadows from shadow buffer lamps.
Buffer Bias
Multiplication factor for Buffer shadows (0 = ignore)
Auto Ray Bias -
Prevent raytraced shadow errors on surfaces with smooth shaded normals.
Ray Bias
Bias value to be used.
Cast Approximate
Allow this material to cast shadows when using approximate ambient occlusion.

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For the current 2.7x manual see

User Manual

World and Ambient Effects


World Background

Ambient Effects

Stars (2.69)

Game Engine


Introduction to the Game Engine
Game Logic Screen Layout


Logic Properties and States
The Logic Editor


Introduction to Sensors
Sensor Editing
Common Options
-Actuator Sensor
-Always Sensor
-Collision Sensor
-Delay Sensor
-Joystick Sensor
-Keyboard Sensor
-Message Sensor
-Mouse Sensor
-Near Sensor
-Property Sensor
-Radar Sensor
-Random Sensor
-Ray Sensor
-Touch Sensor


Controller Editing
-AND Controller
-OR Controller
-NAND Controller
-NOR Controller
-XOR Controller
-XNOR Controller
-Expression Controller
-Python Controller


Actuator Editing
Common Options
-2D Filters Actuator
-Action Actuator
-Camera Actuator
-Constraint Actuator
-Edit Object Actuator
-Game Actuator
-Message Actuator
-Motion Actuator
-Parent Actuator
-Property Actuator
-Random Actuator
-Scene Actuator
-Sound Actuator
-State Actuator
-Steering Actuator
-Visibility Actuator

Game Properties

Property Editing

Game States



Camera Editing
Stereo Camera
Dome Camera




Material Physics
No Collision Object
Static Object
Dynamic Object
Rigid Body Object
Soft Body Object
Vehicle Controller
Sensor Object
Occluder Object

Path Finding

Navigation Mesh Modifier

Game Performance

Framerate and Profile
Level of Detail

Python API

Bullet physics


Standalone Player
Licensing of Blender Game

Android Support

Android Game development