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When you start layering elements in 3D space, it's really important to understand how precomposing works and how material options work and how lights work between the precompositions and your final composition. So if we look at our scene here, you can see I have these two words, they are casting shadows, the floor is obviously set to accept shadows. But if we zoom in to the left side of our scene, here let me just press the Spacebar and click and drag with my left mouse, notice there are no shadows on these windmills.
Now if we look in the timeline, you can see we have composition layers. Thankfully, they're all referencing the same precomposition. So let's just double-click on layer 7 and any changes we make in here will in turn be updated for all of those layers in the other composition. So let's select all four layers by clicking and dragging, starting in the lower part of our timeline. With all four layers selected, we can press AA to open their Material Options. Now we can select Casts Shadows, change it from Off to On, and since we have all four layers selected, Casts Shadows is enabled for all four layers.
Now if you press the U key, we can collapse all four layers at the same time and then jump back to our 3D-Depth_of_Field. Now notice we have shadows being cast from these comps. If we select any one of these precomps and press AA to try and open their Material Options, even though they have 3D enabled, there are no Material Options. If we open up those options here, notice we just don't have them. The reason we don't have them, these layers are collapsed. This little button right here, when I click on it and hold, at the top you can see this toggles Collapse Transformations.
So when you have a layer that is 3D and you precompose it into another composition, understand that not only do the 3D parts of that layer move to the precomp, but also their material options when you enable Collapse Transform.
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