New feature: Sunlight shadows

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  • I think it would be really cool to have a shadow mask that can be placed between the sun and the model:

    o Mask shape selection : Forest, Grass, Traffic, Buildings, Crowd, Zombies, Rainbow, Disco lights, UFOs, (clouds, birds, planes, leaves, rain…)

    o Shadow height : Distance up from horizon the mask will start - below this will be solid.

    o Slider for strength : How dark the thrown shadows are and how sharp the edges are

    o Slider for fade : Solid towards horizon -> transparent towards the sky. Perhaps a 2 way fade so that sky effects could fade towards the horizon.

    o Slider for saturation : Stained glass and disco ball effects with full saturation, vague grey shadows with no saturation

    o Slider for animation speed : perhaps a gif animation? people walking by a window, leaves moving in the wind, flock of birds flying past, etc.


    The idea is that if you looked, you wouldn't see anything actually blocking the sun; just the 'shadow' being cast.

  • Gadget Could you please share some examples and a more detailed description, as your wish seems to have an explicit inspiration in a different software solution.

  • I am thinking on another sky-box style layer:

    - Internal views of a cafe could have shadows of people walking past the window

    - Internal views of a bedroom loft could have the shadow of dappled leaves in the sunlight as it hits the wall.
    - externally the shadow of fences, trees or buildings could cross the model without actually having any geometry.


    (My machine decided not to switch on today - when it's repaired I'll mock up something)

  • The tree shadow is the effect I would like to be able to achieve by just loading in a silhouette; the sun casts the tree shadows as it moves across the sky (except I don't want to see the image behind it - I want to see the skybox.)


    (The sketchup image is only to show how I got it to do what I want.)

  • Gadget

    So the solution would be to add a new material type e.g. "Shadow Material" that would cause the plane you've inserted to become invisible in Enscape but still casting shadows.

    This way you could add whatever shadow mask you want to.


    But why do you want to mark e.g. inserted people/trees as shadow material? Usually visible people and vegetation add realism to a scene.

  • Speed. File size. Ease of use. Being lazy.
    If I want to show something like this I have to find the silhouette/component(s), then align and position them within the model, then move them until it looks right,... - normally it's too much time to spend fine-tuning to be an economic use of my time. However if it was just a couple of clicks... :)

    If it was just a 'shadow material' I would still have to insert the geometry and position it. Better than inserting lots of unnecessary geometry, but not as streamline or simple. (Attached - only a part circle; shadows are nice, but instead of a nice sky and sky-box I'm looking out at an ominous forest from inside the room.)

    And if you added movement to the shadows it would be even cooler.

  • Gadget you can change the time of day, so the sun moves and therefor the shadows move as well.

    This can be captured in a animation export. Just change time of day between start and stop position.


    We cannot just presume a wanted mask or distance to your actual model. So therefor a little bit of manual work is needed, so the shadow material and manual placement would be required.

  • Re: movement - I know about the sun moving, but I was talking more about a 'water' like ripple:

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    (This is leaves, but depending on how it was done it could also be used for street scenes with traffic and people moving past.)


    Wanted mask: drop down selection just like the wanted sky box.

    Distance from model: slider (I was initially thinking about just changing the height of the mask, but you are correct; distance from model makes more sense.)

  • Gadget

    So the solution would be to add a new material type e.g. "Shadow Material" that would cause the plane you've inserted to become invisible in Enscape but still casting shadows.

    This way you could add whatever shadow mask you want to.....


    I would looooooove to see a "Shadow Material" introduced to sketchup version :love:....to be able to have the option to make the shadows edges a bit softer.