Solar Modeling - How to

advice

#1

I have been using SketchUp for quite a while to model building designs. The “Shadows” tool has been a real asset in refining the designs to maximize or minimize isolation.
Okay, except I think I have missed a basic bit of method.
The shadows tool has a north/south orientation. If I rotate my model to reflect how it actually sits on the site then drawing becomes difficult because things like the rectangle tool don’t orient with the new wall lines.
Not sure I am describing this well. Any clues? My thanks


#2

Changing the axes will allow you to orient rectangles to the wall lines. Also, I think adding a geolocation in your model info will increase the accuracy of your shadows.


#3

So I can change the axis of my model working space but still retain the proper orientation for the shadow rendering?


#4

Yes. I just tried it out. Fingers crossed.
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#5

Excellent! How exciting!
Thanks. That helps a lot.


#6

No problem. If it doesn’t work, there’s always undo.


#7

See this topic and then feel free to ask followup questions.


Solar North — Extension Warehouse
Provides tools for you to set and display the solar north angle.
https://extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/solar-north


#8

That was going to be my recommendation. Yeah solar North is a lifesaver for landscape and visualization because sometimes you have to ‘fake’ north in order to get a view out of deep shade…without rotating the whole model as it may affect scene, hidden geometry, etc.


#9

I believe the OP’s question is more about solar accuracy than aesthetics.
Before SU 8 it was a bit more challenging, as evidenced by this article from the SU 7 era.


#10

It’s always good to have a choice of more than one way to achieve the results you want.

+1 on Solar North extension as a first choice solution

Leaving the green axis as north and rotating your building also works (maybe your only choice with the web version, yes?). Then you have more than one way to deal with adjusting axes as mentioned.

You can adjust the axes for the whole model, or, maybe conceptually a little cleaner, is making a group or component of your building and adjusting the axes for the group/component to be plumb and square to it. Using a component would be good for a repeating building like a condo unit on a site where it may be turned in different directions in each instance. No matter which way each instance is, the local axes for the building align squarely.

On a similar note, for a house with a wing at 45° grouping each part and setting the axes for plumb and square to that part makes working on each part easy without having to change the universal axes back and forth.


#11

Thanks very much, look forward to trying things out.


#12

@sproutsradio, @RTCool brings up a good point.

It’s difficult (read impossible) to give detailed advice when you have failed to provide those willing to help you with the information necessary to do so.

Kindly revisit and complete your forum profile.
Providing your OS, SketchUp Version and Graphics Card info is how you help us help you.


#13

Thanks, just did that.