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Well, if you have AE 5 or above, you could use the 3d feature and use lights, but I don’t think I would agree with doing that. Instead, if you have 5 or above:
-duplicate your object
-turn on 3d for that new layer
-set it to look like a shadow (lower opacity, turn down brightness and contrast)
-rotate the object in 3d space (ie use the y and z dimensions) to fit the background
The best way to get the shadow to fit the background is to have good preproduction: record the angle of the camera relative to the floor of the set, set up little markers for match moves, etc. I think you should hopefully be able to eyeball it and make it look convincing.
If you have below AE 5, instead of using the y and z dimensions, rotate your object, scale it correctly, and hopefully you’ll get the right look. You may even try a distortion type of plugin, such as corner pin. It might help.
Hopefully this will work. If not…sorry.
None that I can think of but if the problem is that yours became corrupted then its probably because of something else entirely from your computer and not this program itself.
And as for the topic, in CGI making shadows is really something that you will have to invest upon as it takes a lot of time and effort for you to make it frame by frame. Good luck!
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