First things firs, before the lesson I tried to apply the image of the weeds on a quick rework of the windows I modeled ( reason being, I hadn't brought the saved files of the models with me into UCA, I know it was dumb of me but I'm only human). What I wanted to create was weeds on the windows with light passing through weeds onto the floor. In the photoshop lesson before hand, Photoshop Phil told me, through his limited knowledge of Maya, that I would need a Transparency map (black and white version of the image and apply this to the Transparency settings in Maya) so I created this ready for my Maya class.
Alan showed me how to use spot lights and area light to show the shadows on the floor. Personally I didnt know I could put an images as a light, but you learn something everyday. He showed me how I could use a black and white version of the colour image and attach it to tthe colour setting of the spot light. This creates the same effectt that everyone can do by putting there hands in front of a torch and create a shadow puppet. The effect worked straight away but there was a small problem, the shadow image was being repeated. The reason being is that the image wasn't put correctly on the UV map, this is because I didn't do it seeing as it was a 'plane' I created in two seconds.
Alan also showed me ways to tweak the shadow for more realism. After that I sorted the UV map out and using the technique Alan showed me, the shadows worked quite well. I even experimented by using more than one shadow.
I'm not at the point where I can use this on my model but I'm happy that I used the time in the day to have some questions answer and I feel confident in how to do this.