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Solved this finally, I had an non-3d solid layer with classic color dodge blending mode in the comp that was killing the shadow. :D
Damn I was cheering too early :(
Even though I managed to get one layer to cast shadows, the duplicates I made out of it won't. Thats very strange since the duplicates have exactly the same settings and even the same position in z-space as the layer that is working. I have no 2d layers anymore, and no blending modes. I'm totally lost. If anyone want's to take a look at the project file, I'd be happy to upload it!
Point me to it and I'll take a look.
Thanks a lot for your offer to help!
I finally figured it out by myself, though it took a while. Here's what happened just in case anyone else has the same problem sometimes:
I had two duplicates of the text layer I needed to cast shadows: the first one was only for casting shadows and on top of that layer was the other one that had a layer style (bevel and emboss) applied to it. Now for some reason this worked ok and I got the shadow to show up, but all the other text layers that I created later on wouldn't cast any shadows no matter what I tried.
The solution was finally to get rid of the layer style for the first layer -after that all shadows finally showed up. That was a bit puzzling for me since I don't quite understand why the layers style made the shadows go away for the other layers but not for the layer that had the same text. Anyway, it seems like I have to be more careful when using layers styles in AE.
Thanks for your time!
Layer Styles don't work with 3d layers. Flatten it into the footage if you're importing from PS. If you have animation on it, you could prerender it, and then treat that rendered element as a 3d layer. Or you could precomp the layer style, and turn that comp into a 3d layer.
>That was a bit puzzling for me since I don't quite understand why the
>layers style made the shadows go away for the other layers but not for
>the layer that had the same text.
I've added a comment to the LiveDocs which should make this more clear:
"Since layer styles applied as the very last step after all other operations it makes them effectively act like 2D layers or adjustment layers and breaks rendering order when used in conjunction with 3D layers. Any 3D layer, whose rasterized 2D buffer is "below" the layer style, will therefore also be affected, regardless whether it is using layer styles itself or not."