By specifying the site's GPS coordinates and orienting the model with respect to North, you get accurate shadow casting on a per-scene basis.
- [Instructor] When you're simulating sunlight in Twilight you're actually using Sketch-Up's built-in sun angle calculator and this is important in architectural projects because you want the sunlight to be coming from the right direction so that it casts shadows in a realistic way. You don't want shadows to appear where they can't possibly occur in the real world. So, this process begins in a mapping program such as Google Earth Pro, for example. I've located the residence in Mexico, here in Google Earth Pro and you can see down here on the status bar that we have latitude and longitude coordinates.
Just a tip, if you go into Preferences you can set the latitude and longitude to decimal degrees, because that's what Sketch-Up uses rather than degrees, minutes and seconds or what have you. So, back in Sketch-Up, this information is entered in Model Info on the Geolocation page. I've already done this for you. I've clicked Set Manual Location and I entered the data.
The next step is to orient the site with respect to true north and I've also done this but I'd like to show you the process so that you can do it on your own projects. So, I'll go up to Camera > Standard Views > Top and this is the site as it would be oriented with respect to north. That matches, more or less, with what we see in Google Earth. I have north up here, in Google Earth and so, in Sketch-Up it looks about right.
The way that I accomplish this was by turning on the Axis and rotating the site with respect to north. In Sketch-Up, north is represented by the solid, green axis line. So, that would be true north. Now that we have that set, the sun angle calculations in Sketch-Up are going to be accurate. Let's turn off the axis and open up Shadows. I'll look at the basic shadow window, here.
So, to toggle on shadows, you click this button and now we can see the shadows falling across the landscape at a particular time and date. So, this slider here represents the year, from January through December and then the top slider is the time of day. You could specify a particular date and time and get the accurate shadow cast. But what we should do is go into Scene 1 and then experiment with the way the shadows look and get an aesthetically pleasing view.
Now, what I want to do is see shadows down here underneath the overhanging pool so that it helps to highlight the fact that this is a special pool that's hovering above the landscape. So, I can just experiment with these two sliders until it looks about right and then I'm going to right-click on Scene 1 and choose Update. If you go into the Scenes window, you'll see that one of the things that's saved in the scene is the shadow settings, right here.
So, each scene has its own date and time, if you will. If I go to Scene 2, I have to toggle shadows back on and here, I have an opportunity to adjust the way that the shadows appear at this time within this particular scene. So, I should really do that with an aesthetic eye to reveal something about the architecture. If I have the shadow going in here then we get a little bit more detail on the interior, which can be interesting.
So, I'm going to go ahead and update this scene. I'll select it and click the Update button, here, and update all the properties. Let's go to Scene 3 and perform the same steps. Turn on Shadows. I'll experiment with the time of day and time of year, perhaps to get something more interesting, here. Now, we're starting to get interesting shadows falling into the interior like in the middle of the summer, it looks like, and I'll go with something like that.
This time, I'll just right-click on Scene 3 and choose Update. Let's go back to Scene 2 and see that the shadows remained as I had set them. It looks right. Let's go back to Scene 3. Yes. So, each scene has its own shadow settings. I'll go in here and let's adjust the time and see what kind of a different looks we can have. That's rather interesting. Let's save that. Update it. Go to Scene 5. Turn on Shadows.
And I'm just going to try different times of year, see what kind of penetration we can get of the sun actually entering this room. It looks like this is very well shaded, in here. We don't get much sun. But, perhaps that was the architect's intention, after all, in a very hot place. So, let's go ahead and save this. So, now we have dialed in our shadow settings on a per-scene basis.
- Cleaning up geometry and materials
- Simulating sunlight and shadow
- Specifying environmental conditions
- Customizing materials
- Rendering interiors
- Creating artificial light sources
- Narrowing focus with depth of field
- Using the Twilight Deep Material Editor
- Rendering animation frames
- Creating video from rendered frames