Shadow Studies Set up for best display/style


I’m wondering if anyone has had experience in setting up a style that deal shadow studies.

I’m working consistently on projects where new developments need to be studied. And the problem i consistently run into is “why is December so dark, where is the shadow?” and I have to say its December is late in the day, the sun is almost down.

So i’m wondering is there a way to develop a sketchup model with the ability to show shadows at a consistency and not have the sun go down.

i’m trying to export jpegs so that they are a consistent brightness throughout the report…

I’ve provided shadow studies for several commercial clients.
Please share a model which exhibits the issue.

If you’re not at liberty to share the model publicly, just say so.
In which case I’ll send a Private Message.

what time of day have you set and at what geolocation…


The only places with 24-hour sunlight are the Poles, albeit a seasonal phenomenon.

These model settings must all be set correctly to display shadows that accurately portray the real world.

Geographic Orientation — Relationship of True North to the model.

Geographic Location — Latitude and Longitude

Time — Year, Month, Day, Hour, Minute

UTC Offset — The difference between local time and the C oordinated U niversal T ime standard.

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Thank you for replaying. i can upload an example.

I follow city standard for shadow studies as outlined in there site plan application policies.

so March 21 - 10am, 12, 2, 4pm, 6pm
June 21 - 10, 12, 2, 4, 6pm
September 21
December 21.

the shading from the sun is always different. (unless you are looking at March and September.

Let me clarify my work routine for these projects.

  1. set up model using geo-location.
  2. bring in site plan from autocad.
  3. extrude the buildings to correct height.
  4. set up scenes - each scene is each date and time labeled.
  5. turn shadows on. set date and time using shadows tool.
  6. export scenes using animation (preferences on model for 1 frame per scene) to jpeg
  7. setup in pre made template in adobe in-design. link photos to each time and date.
  8. using pen tool outline in dashed red pen tool each shadow and its outline.

the problem i have lies in the shading of the sun on the whole model. for example. i would love it. if i could get the same brightness for December as i do for June. June is great, its bright, its dark dark shadows. December is dark its hard to see where the shadow is at 4pm. do you guys see where i’m coming from? i want the same brightness for every image i export. showing me clearly the shadow on the air photo under it.

Would it work to adjust the light and dark sliders in the Shadow dialog? You have to update the scene settings–so you’d have it set lighter for December than in June.

i’ve done this also. yes, i do it for every scene for best effects

Please do, as the description of your routine leaves unanswered questions.

You might want to try Tig’s Shadow Projector it will turn shadows into geometry so you can add materials to them for a consistent result. Create different Shadow groups and layer/tag them for different times of the day.

I have the same issue - i want to show the Location of the shadow, without trying to similar the ‘darkness’.

You may not get consistent brightness, but you can try turning of “use sun for shading” and also setting your Light and Dark sliders appropriately.
This can over-ride the default darkness/lightness settings.
Save each time of day as a scene if you can, then you can adjust times of day individually and switch between scenes to check that they are consistent (or you can send the Shadow scene to LayOut and adjust the time of day and shadow darkness there - that would possibly even easier to get consistency)

Also - if your region has Daylight Savings, dont forget that Sketchup doesn’t account for this - you need to mentally add 1hr to your summer shadow times.