Soft shadow and its scope
Soft Shadow is a special tool in space design to create an image in SketchUp with Softer shadows from the Sun. It falls under the Lighting Technology which automatically lightens up the default settings.
To start select softness and coarseness below:
Use Medium for your first trial – it will merge about 25 images. Remember sketchy Shadows don’t work in the ground plane. For the softness and width of shadow images the shadow tab provides a set of pre-sets:
Shadow Softness – None, Coarse, Medium, Smooth, or Custom – sets a number of iterations.
Shadow Spread – Narrow, Medium, Wide, or custom – sets days and time to process.
There are various quick shadow modes like:
- Soft shadow
- Sketchy shadow
Soft shadow tab
The Soft shadow Tab consists of two properties.
1. Shadow Processing
Shadow processing helps to surface the shadows in shade. The areas not in direct sun will be treated as shadowed areas.
2. Shadow Masking
Shadow masking button will help to recreate the soft shadow image. This will only soften shadows where shadows appear in the original image.
There are other buttons as well in the Soft shadow Tab, and each of the tabs has different functionalities, like shadow mode, Darkness opacity which helps to change the darkness of the shadows. The shadow pattern will be partially transparent, allowing the colours below it to bleed through.
SketchUp Water Mark Style
Soft Shadows also works with watermark SketchUp styles. This image was made using the NrpTools Crayon style. The watermark mostly, only appears in the dark, (shadowed) areas of the model.
Using Full Shadows
This button recreates all areas which are not in direct sunlight.
One can specify a Chipboard texture or can select an image to use as a texture. The texture image will be applied to the shadows directly, and not applied to the surfaces in the model. This means that the texture will not rotate to match surfaces, and will not get smaller in the distance.
The main buttons to craft a Lighting Technology in SketchUp is the application of Soft Sun Shadow.
Soft Sun shadow
The process to make soft shadows from the sun using SketchUp‘s Shadow rendering is very easy. Using SketchUp’s shadow renderings creates several images at different times or dates, so we get different types of shadows and then combining them into an image with softer shadows.
Soft Artificial Shadow
One can also use it to make soft shadows with a Ray Trace Rendering add-on for SketchUp. This button also helps in moving the lights and merge images where are some renderers allow to specify larger surfaces for the lights and automatically sample multiple positions from each surface to create the shadows.
How to apply soft shadow from the Sun
If the drawing is getting sharp shadows under the Sun, in Vray for SketchUp, one can edit the sun settings. The process is explained in a detailed form:
1) Environment > GI (skylight) and click on M
2) Under “Sun” change the “Size” from 1,0 to 25-30.
3) This increase will cause softer shadows, and make the sun larger in the render; one can also disable the sun above in case the appearance of the sun is not needed, or disturbing.
Lighting plays an important component of a successful render, especially when one is revealing indoor spaces. Realistic lighting is crucial to creating not only realistic scenes but also to leaving a lasting impression and conveying a certain feeling. Soft shadow can add a great detail of realism to any rendered scene by simply blurring or fading the edges of the objects. Hence, we can term Soft shadow as an important tool for SketchUp.