So here's my dilemma:
With lambert files assigned 32-bit targas of trees applied to image planes-- so with the light set to raytracing I get proper shadows from the alpha channels in the textured planes and with depth map I predictably get shadows of opaque planes.
I understand this, yet I've heard that there's a way to get super-fast rendering by assigning a alpha file to a light source to get the appearance of raytraced shadows with a simple depth map.
After scouring the web, I have the solution for every other program except Maya-- Gnomon (http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/tutorials/trans_shadow.html) came close but I don't want extraneous geometry... I want to achieve the effect with one polygon image planes if at all possible.
If you would please, point me in the right direction whether the solution lies in the connection editor, an attribute setting, hypershade, or whatever... any help would be greatly appreciated. Faking raytraced shadows with depth maps would be greatest thing since rendered sliced bread...if only this mystery could be solved, some of my classmates once spoke of it-- it somehow works--- but how?