How to Use SketchUp’s Shadows Feature

By Aidan Chopra

You’re about to use one of SketchUp’s best features: Shadows. When you turn on Shadows, you’re activating SketchUp’s built-in sun. The shadows you see in your modeling window are accurate for whatever time and location you set. For the purposes of this example, though, don’t worry about accuracy. Go through these steps to let the light shine in:

1Use Orbit, Zoom, and Pan to get an aerial, three-quarter view of your doghouse model, sort of like the one shown.

You can use Use Orbit, Zoom, and Pan to navigate around until your model, whatever it is.

2Choose Window→Shadows.

This opens the Shadow Settings dialog box shown. The Shadow Settings dialog box controls the position of SketchUp’s built-in sun.

3Click the Display Shadows button (in the upper-left corner of the dialog box) to turn on the sun.

Your doghouse casts a shadow on the ground.

4In the Shadow Settings dialog box, move the Time slider back and forth.

Changing the time of day means that you’re moving SketchUp’s sun around in the sky. When the sun moves around, so do your shadows.