Strange shadow things

Just a quick question, as I think this is just a setting I’ve upset, but can anyone tell me why I’m getting these strange solid shadows on some of my components?

Other components on the same layer are behaving normally, but I can’t see where they are differently set up.

I’ve moved the entire model sub ground level to place it better in a fly around animation. Is that what is causing this? Its about 25 feet below zero (but the strange shadow things are not at zero)

Those shadows are cast on the default ground plane which you cannot move. You can either move your entire model up above the ground plane or turn off Shadows on ground and they’ll go away.

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How do I do that?

Untick the box in the Shadows panel. It’s the middle of the three tick boxes visible at the top right in your screen shot.

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Thanks Dave :smiley: That worked splendidly

I have a different problem now - still shadows, but why would the main parts of the castle not be casting any shadows? (I think the reason I ticked that box in the first place was to try and resolve that issue earlier today)

Select those parts of the castle and check in Entity to see that they are set to cast shadows. Also select the lawn and make sure it is set to receive shadows also in Entity Info.

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This is the component part of the castle:

And this is the terrain component

This has a layers issue by the looks of it, you don’t have the active layer set to 0.

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Seeing the model would make it much easier to figure out. Can you share it so we can stop guessing?

Ian has a good point. You are using layers incorrectly although I don’t think that in itself would affect the shadows.

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Honestly! I am such a fool!

Layer 0 was the problem this second time around. Now its visible all the shadow problems have gone right away! I must have hidden everything but the layer I was working on and forgotten to switch it back on again.

So basically you were both right. I hope I am allowed to tick both responses as the answer.

Thank you both so very much :smiley:

You shouldn’t be working on any other layers but Layer 0.

Layer 0 should ALWAYS be left as the active layer. All geometry is to be created and remain on Layer 0 and only components and groups get other layer assignments.

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I find it easier to separate the levels of the castle (there are four) that way. How should I be doing it?

See what I wrote above. Layers DO NOT separate entities. They only control visibility. Separation is done through the use of groups and components.

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There were a thread a long time ago a bit like this one. The layers were all over the shop and because layers that primitive geometry were assigned to were switched off, it screwed with the shadows. Its difficult to explain because of how complicated it gets when you don’t adhere to the rules.


I will try to modify my workflow to accommodate this idea, though I find the way that layers work in Sketchup totally confusing. Everything in the drawing is a component. So what you are saying is that I shouldn’t be working on components that have been placed out of the way on other layers? Very confusing. Other software in my toolbox uses layers to separate things for convenient hiding and showing, and to make selection easier. I don’t think I really understand the purpose of layers in Sketchup if that is not what they are for.

Back to the original question for a moment. I can only tick one answer as correct, so I ticked the correct answer to my first question, but really you were both just as helpful. Thank you :smiley:


Probably best to not think of them as layers. Think of them as visibility tags that you assign to components/groups. Again, all the edges and faces remain with Layer 0 and Layer 0 is always the active one. This is actually very freeing because you don’t chase layers and don’t risk making mistakes of putting edges and faces on the wrong layer. Whenever you open a component to edit the geometry inside, you are working with Layer 0 active no matter what layer is assigned to the enclosing component.

As above, they are only used to control the visibility of groups and components.

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So a component can be on layer X, but if you open it and select everything there it will all still be on Layer 0?

The component container can be on Layer X while the edges and faces inside are on Layer 0. Turning off the visibility for Layer X will make the component and the edges and faces inside it disappear.

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I see clearly now!

Thank you very very much!

Now I will spend the next 10 minutes opening every single last component and selecting all inside it to move the actual drawn bits of it back to Layer 0, and keep Layer 0 active.

Have I understood you correctly?

I think you have understood correctly. As you go forward you should find that it’s much easier to work the correct way because you never need to concern yourself with changing active layers as you work on different parts of your model. Also much less prone to errors.

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