Professional Landscape Design Software
Realtime Landscaping Architect Landscape Design Software

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Plan Shadows

Plan shadows are an effect in the Plan view that adds depth to the design while increasing its visual appeal. Plan Shadows, also known as drop shadows, are separate from the shadows that are shown in the Realtime Walkthrough.

before and after landscape plan shadows

Important: Plan shadows can slow down large designs on slower computers. If this is happening to you, simply turn off plan shadows until it is time to print the design or save screen shots.

To modify the behavior of plan shadows, click View and Plan Shadows. The following dialog will appear:

landscaping software plan shadow settings dialog

Enable shadows in Plan view
Check this option to show drop shadows in the Plan view. This does not affect the shadows shown during a Realtime Walkthrough.

Shadow offset
The length of each shadow can be modified in feet or meters by moving the Shadow Offset slider or manually entering a value using the keyboard.

Shadow darkness
The intensity of the shadows can be modified by moving the Shadow Darkness slider or manually entering a value using the keyboard. A value of 100 will result in completely black shadows.

Use time-of-day and compass settings
Select this option to tie the shadow direction to the time of day and compass setting, which will cast the shadows based on the calculated angle of the sun. The time of day can be adjusted from the Environment Settings, and the compass can be rotated within your design. See Changing the North Direction for more information on rotating the compass.

Custom direction
To manually set a direction for the Plan Shadows, select the Custom Direction option and move the slider to change the shadow angle. Alternately, type a value manually using the keyboard. The shadow direction is shown in degrees, with 0 degrees being east, 90 degrees being north, 180 degrees being west, and 270 degrees being south.

landscaping software compass

Shadow Fading

As you zoom out from your landscape, the Plan Shadows will eventually fade and disappear from view. This is done to improve the running speed of the software while you are designing, and will not affect the visibility of the shadows when printing or saving screen shots.

Controlling Shadows Per-Object

Whether or not an individual object casts a shadow can be controlled manually using the Advanced Object Properties dialog.

Note: Certain flat objects, such as text and fill regions, will not cast Plan Shadows.