Shadows different from reality

Good morning all,
I am wondering if someone can explain a little bit more about the shadow work in SketchUp. I am currently modelling a new development in Aberdeen (Scotia), and the shadows are different from reality. My model is georeferenced and built with levels to follow the site topography. However, the shadows still look different from reality. I was wondering ti is a clock issue; Sketchup doesn’t change the clock between summer and winter. Or is it a latitude issue? I had this problem only with this specific project. Does anyone have the same issue?

In what way?
Can you share a (simplified) model to show what you see and explain what you would have expected?

That shouldn’t be an issue.

There are some tips/tutorials here:
Casting Real-World Shadows | SketchUp Help

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Thank you for your quick reply. Here is the picture of the shadow in the model.

And here are the real shadow

I’m afraid that an image will only make us guess at best.

Thanks, I tried all of the items mentioned there.

What happens if you change the time by one hour? (winter > summer time “issue”)

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The shadow will be perfect if I go back an hour. This is why I was wondering was a time issue. The model is run with UTC 0.00 and uses the sun for the shadow.

Taken from the link @dezmo posted above:

Tip: The Shadows feature can give you only a general idea of how the sun and shadows will look at a specific location. The time is not adjusted for daylight saving time. If the model is geolocated in an area where time zone lines zigzag rather dramatically, the time zone may be off by an hour or longer.

So you need to figure that (adjusting hour) out yourself.


I’m not 100% sure about it now… :wink: :peace_symbol:

I think I will adjust the time… It seems the only reasonable thing to do. Thanks!


There is an extension, Solar North, that compensates for the distance you are from the nearest time zone change.

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Thank you very much, I will try it!

@colin , @Valentina_BMA , as far as I know geo-positioning a model takes (should take) care of the correct time zone as well as true north, where as Solar North only lets you set up true north in the direction you think it should be.

SketchUp uses grid north, which is bound not to be related to the direction of the sun, unless you’re on a time zone longitude line. I know that the bigger issue here might have been a time zone one, where the sun was a whole hour out. Solar North helps with the less than an hour out issue.

Hence my remark:

You can enter any angle towards SketchUp’s green (= default true north) axis, to then become the true north, not changing the systems axes.

Perhaps it should be called untrue north…

Thank you very much to everyone. I didn’t know about the ‘true north’ before.