Displaying a Structure's Shadow in Floor Plan View


Reference Number: KB-02083
Last Modified: July 14, 2017

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


QUESTION

How can I show where the shadows fall in floor plan view?

ANSWER

Sun Angles allow the shadow cast by a building at any time of the year to be displayed in floor plan and rendered views.

shadow displayed in a floor plan view using a sun angle

A Sun Angle arrow is a marker that displays in floor plan view and indicates the angle of the sun at a specific time and location on the Earth. Multiple Sun Angles can be created in floor plan view, each with different specifications.

Sun Angles are parallel light sources. Their location and direction are defined on a per plan basis. To accurately define the Sun's location relative to the model, use the North Pointer tool.


To create a Sun Angle

  1. Make the first floor or foundation level the current floor. Sun Angles can only be created on these floor levels.


  2. In floor plan view, select CAD> Lines> Sun Angle  and click in the drawing area where the Sun Angle arrow should display.


  3. In the Sun Angle Specification dialog, specify the Sun Angle's Earth Data and other information and then click OK.


  4. After it is created, a Sun Angle can be moved to a different location in floor plan view. Shadows are not affected.

    A Sun Angle's position is specified by Latitude and Longitude. The following table lists a sample of latitude and longitude values for some cities: 

     


  5. When rendering an exterior view, Chief Architect will use the Default Sun unless a sun angle exists. To specify which sun angle is being used, select 3D>Lighting>Adjust Sunlight  make sure Use Sun Angle is selected, and then select the desired sun angle from the drop down menu below and click OK


  6. Select 3D> Lighting> Toggle Sunlight  to toggle on or off the light from the active Default Sun or the current Sun Angle.


Once a sun angle has been created, shadows can be created.

To display shadows created by a Sun Angle in Camera Views

  1. Within a Camera view, select 3D> Camera View Options> Toggle Shadows  to toggle shadows on or off in the view.

    Note: In X8, with the camera view open select 3D> Edit Active Camera, put a check next to Show Shadows, and then click OK.

  2. Navigate back into a Floor Plan view, click on the Sun Angle line to select it, and choose Open Object 



    • On the Lighting Data panel, check the Casts Shadows checkbox and click OK


  3. To display the shadow in floor plan view, with the Sun Angle arrow selected, click the Make Shadow  edit button, or click the Make Shadow button on the Earth Data panel of the Sun Angle Specification dialog.  

    If no Terrain Perimeter has been created, shadows fall on an imaginary plane at height zero, the default height for the first floor. 

    If a Terrain Perimeter exists, shadows are modified to indicate where the real shadow would fall on the actual terrain.

 Multiple Sun Angles can be placed in the same plan to allow the simultaneous display of shadows cast at different times in floor plan view.

Specify different line colors and/or fill styles for shadows cast by multiple Sun Angles in the Sun Angle Specification dialog on the Line Style and Fill Style panels respectively.

To display shadows created by a Sun Angle in Rendered Camera Views in X7 and prior products

  1. Navigate to Edit> Preferences> Render.

    On a Mac, browse to Chief Architect> Preferences> Render.
     

  2. On the Render panel, check Show Shadows under the Preview Options and/or Final View Options and Click OK



  3. Next, select a Sun Angle and click the Open Object  edit button.


  4. On the Lighting Data panel of the Sun Angle Specification dialog, make sure that Casts Shadows is checked, and click OK.




  5. To display the shadow in floor plan view, with the Sun Angle arrow selected, click the Make Shadow  edit button, or click the Make Shadow button on the Earth Data panel of the Sun Angle Specification dialog.  

    If no Terrain Perimeter has been created, shadows fall on an imaginary plane at height zero, the default height for the first floor.

    If a Terrain Perimeter exists, shadows are modified to indicate where the real shadow would fall on the actual terrain.


There are several ways to delete the shadow created by a Sun Angle

  • In floor plan view, select and delete the defining polyline.

  • In floor plan view, select and delete the Sun Angle arrow.

  • In floor plan view, select the Sun Angle Arrow  and click the Delete Shadow  edit button.

  • In the Sun Angle Specification dialog, click the Delete Shadow button.