Bring Shadows into Google Earth


Is there a way to bring the model shadows with the model when exporting to Google Earth so that they show up in GE? (Sketchup Pro 2018)



Shadows are not geometry, so you would want to export the time and sun position (shadow info). SketchUp’s kmz export to Google Earth is basically a wrapped Collada exporter and just packs the model into a zip (kmz) archive and adds the location. It does not include shadow info.

  • You could move the time sliders in Google Earth to the same date and time as in the SketchUp model.
  • You could manually edit and insert the date and time into the exported kmz model. Extract the shadow info in SketchUp with:
    Sketchup.active_model.shadow_info.each{ |key, value| puts("#{key}: #{value}") }
    Unzip the kmz file, edit the kml file and add a placemark with coordinates and the a dateTime . Then open the kml file in Google Earth and double-click the placemark in the left sidebar.
  • You could “bake” the shadow into a transparent png image and include it in the SketchUp model just little above the gorund plane. The exported model will always show this fixed fake shadow (as long as the terrain is sufficiently plane).
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Thanks, all makes sense, I will give it a go.



You can also use Tig’s Shadow Projector extension.…just a heads up though that its probably not going to work too well with Google Earth’s newer Lidar-scanned 3D terrain and buildings. Might work with Legacy buildings and smooth ground plane (terrain).

Curious to see the results so please post back here when done :slight_smile:

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