Shadow Reference

So how do I get the shadow in the right direction? Obvsiously I need to recreate the light on the day in Maya when we are animating the character.

Big productions, such as Game of Thrones, use a couple of techniques and one of them is a HDRI Ball.

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However, I found a cheaper and easier way to do this. Our character isnt going to be overly large.  It was a bright day, so he will be well light, but I want to get the direction of the shadow.  How do i do this?

I simply gather a bunch of twigs and tape them together. I then stand it in the position the character will be and then just take a quick picture with the slate in the shot also.  I am taking the picture in the same direction as our camera.  This way I can see what direction the shadows are being cast and also the colour of each shadow.  I then create a directional light within Maya and point it in the direction so it will cast the same a shadow in the same direction as my reference image.

Why do I do this? I simply found it to be a quicker, faster and cheaper process than buying a £70 chrome ball.

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