Displaying a Structure's Shadow in Floor Plan View in Home Designer Pro

Reference Number: KB-00489
Last Modified: August 19, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional


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


A Sun Angle line 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. By placing a Sun Angle line, you can create a shadow to be displayed by a building both on floor plan and in rendered views.

To create a Sun Angle and display a shadow in plan view

  1. Since Sun Angles can only be created on either the Foundation or 1st Floor, be sure that you are on one of these floors in plan view.

  2. Select CAD> Lines> Sun Angle  and click in the drawing area where you want the Sun Angle to be displayed.

  3. In the Sun Angle Specification dialog that appears, specify the Sun Angle's information.

    Earth Data panel of the Sun Angle Specification dialog

    • Specify the Latitude and Longitude of the location where the building is or will be built.

    • Specify the DateTime, and Time Zone to set the appropriate location of the sun in the sky.

    • Specify the Length of Plan Symbol to change the size of the Sun Angle arrow on the plan.

    • Check Show Date on Sun Angle to display the date and time next to the Sun Angle arrow.

    • Check Auto Rebuild Terrain to rebuild the terrain automatically whenever you create a sun shadow.

    • Click Make Shadow or Delete Shadow to generate or remove the shadow from the plan view.

  4. Click OK.

If no Terrain Perimeter has been created, shadows fall on an imaginary plane at a height of 0", 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. This allows the simultaneous display of shadows cast at different times in floor plan view, however, only one will display in camera views.

You can specify different line colors and/or fill styles for shadows cast by multiple Sun Angles in the Sun Angle Specification dialog.

When rendering an exterior view, the program looks for any Sun Angles that are turned on in order to determine lighting and shadow generation; a Sun Angle's light data and shadow can be toggled in the Sun Angle Specification dialog. If a Sun Angle does not exist, the programs uses the Generic Sun. For more information on adjusting sunlight, please see the Related Articles section below.

The sunlight can be toggled on and off by using 3D> Lighting> Toggle Sunlight .

3D> Lighting> Adjust Sunlight  allows you to control the display of either the Generic Sun or the current Sun Angle as a source of light.

To display shadows created by a Sun Angle in camera views

  1. Select the camera in a floor plan view and select the Open Object edit button.

    You can also select 3D> Edit Active Camera  while in a camera view.

  2. On the Camera panel of the Specification dialog that opens, check Show Shadows.

    Check the Show Shadows box located on the Camera panel of the Specification dialog

  3. Click OK.

If shadows are not being displayed, select the appropriate Sun Angle, click the Open Object edit button, and on the Lighting Data panel of the Sun Angle Specification dialog, make sure that Casts Shadows is checked.

Ensure that the Casts Shadows box is checked on the Lighting Data panel of the Sun Angle Specification dialog