Adjusting the Default Sunlight


Reference Number: KB-00922
Last Modified: September 29, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite

QUESTION

When I take a camera view of the exterior of my house, the shading is on the wrong side. How can I adjust the sunlight to come from the right direction?




ANSWER

If you create an exterior 3D view, the program creates a Default Sun Light source. It is easy to adjust the various aspects of this Default Sun Light to properly reflect different times of day using the Default Sun Light Specification dialog while a 3D view of your plan is open. The key to getting the sunlight effect you want is to adjust both the tilt angle, and direction angle.


To adjust the default sun light

  1. Take a Camera  view of the exterior of the structure and then select 3D> Camera View Options> Final View with Shadows .


  2. Once the Final View with Shadows has been generated, select 3D> Lighting> Adjust Sunlight to display the Default Sun Light Specification dialog.



    In Home Designer Architectural and Home Designer Pro, navigate to 3D> Lighting> Adjust Lights if there are other lights already placed within the plan. Select the Default Sun and click on the Adjust button to display the Default Sun Light Specification dialog. If there are no other lights in the plan, then use the procedure in step 3 above to open the Default Sun Light Specification dialog.


    • Use the Intensity slider to control how bright the default sun light displays in 3D views. An intensity of 0% is the same as turning the sun light off, and 100% is the maximum brightness.

    • Change the Tilt Angle to specify the angle of the sun light with respect to the horizon. A value of 90 degrees means that the light is pointing straight up, whereas a value of -90 degrees means that the light is pointing straight down. 0 degrees is parallel to the horizon.

    • Set the Direction Angle to specify the direction that the sun light points toward. 0 degrees is measured horizontally on screen, pointing to the right. Positive values will then rotate in a counter-clockwise direction, while negative values rotate clockwise.

    • Click in the Color rectangle to define the color of the light being modelled. The color white has the least effect on material colors and textures.


  3. Click OK to apply your changes and see the results update in your open 3D view.




To model sunrise

  1. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Full Camera , then click and drag out the camera view on the outside of your structure.


  2. Next, select 3D> Camera View Options> Final View with Shadows .


  3. Once your view with shadows has been generated, select 3D> Lighting> Adjust Sunlight  to display the Default Sun Light Specification dialog.


  4. Set your Tilt Angle to something fairly shallow, such as -10 degrees, and set your sun Direction Angle to 180 degrees.




  5. Click OK to apply the change to your design.




To model high noon

  1. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Full Camera , then click and drag out the camera view on the outside of your structure.


  2. Next, select 3D> Camera View Options> Final View with Shadows .


  3. Once your view with shadows has been generated, select 3D> Lighting> Adjust Sunlight  to display the Default Sun Light Specification dialog.


  4. Your sun should be at a Tilt Angle of -90 degrees, and a Direction Angle of 90 degrees.




  5. Click OK to apply the change to your design.




To model sunset

  1. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Full Camera , then click and drag out the camera view on the outside of your structure.


  2. Next, select 3D> Camera View Options> Final View with Shadows .


  3. Once your view with shadows has been generated, select 3D> Lighting> Adjust Sunlight  to display the Default Sun Light Specification dialog.


  4. Set your Tilt Angle, and Direction Angle, both to 0 degrees.




  5. Click OK to apply the change to your design.



    If you want the sun to shine across the front of the house, your direction angles should go down from 180 until it gets to 0.

In Home Designer Pro, you have a great deal more control over how the program's sun displays by utilizing the Sun Angle Specification dialog, where you can give the program your latitude and longitude, the date and time, and the program will then automatically set the correct sun angle for you.



With this dialog open in your Home Designer Pro program, click on the Help button at the lower right of the dialog to learn more detailed descriptions of each of the options listed here.