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andreas Ø


Hi Folks

I have had this question in another topic, but realized that it belonged here. So now I will re-ask:-)


I am looking for a way to show daylight/sunlight in top view in a house, but as if the roof above was on.
I have tried creating a transparent texture that casts a shadow, but it only works in Open GL with transparency set to 31% or more. It will not work when rendered properly.
I attach an example of how it shouldn't look...

daylight example.JPG

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You are best to make a section viewport. The easiest route to that is to use the clip cube. Highlight the side you want to use as a cutting edge, right-clip on the edge (top in your case) and in the contextual menu select "create section viewport". 



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There's only one way to accomplish this in Vectorworks that I know of. Unfortunately I don't think it's possible to do it by adding a "transparent" texture to the ceiling since (sans jumping into C4D as zoomer suggests). Vectorworks doesn't allow something to be invisible while simultaneously casting a shadow.


This method will cast shadows from the ceiling as you desire, but the limitation is that it'll only be a Top/Plan view (can't figure out how to get it in a 3D view), and it only works as a Sheet Layer Viewport.


First, add a solid ceiling to your model, so that the shadows are correct.




Then turn on the Clip Cube. Select the Clip Cube object and bring the top of the box down so that it cuts through your model. Right click the Clip Cube cutting plane and choose "Create Section Viewport".




In the dialogue box, choose a Sheet Layer and set your Render Style to OpenGL (presumably OpenGL Render Settings already have shadows turned on). Click on "Advanced Section Properties" and make sure that "Cast Shadows of Objects Removed by Section" is turned on in the Display tab.




Then when you render your Viewport you'll get this:



Instead of this:




Edit: @markddand I are thinking alike this morning :)

Edited by Andy Broomell
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Thanks. The clipcube trick is almost all I needed. The next step for me is to make a daylight simulation movie.

The only workaround that I have found is to make a transparent material at 31 % and render it in Open GL. The result is a little too hazy, and it wont work with a proper renderstyle. Any tips on that?

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If this is just a periodic need, edit your workspace to include the Custom Visibility menu command. It is probably hiding in the Legacy Items category. This menu command will let you turn individual items invisible.


Or just create two simple single line scripts.








Select an item and run the first script and it will be invisible.


Run the second script an anything you had turned invisible will again be visible.


Let me know if you need more help.



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Hi Pat


Thanks for the tip.


What I want is something as in the linked daylight animation. In this I have made the object transparent with 31%. It works for me, but not good enough for showing to someone else.



I have tried using the script, but the object does not cast a shadow.

As to using the Custom Visibility command, I cant figure out what you mean.


I have thought about using Blender, but I like to keep things within one platform for as much work as possible. And I really like the animated time/date stamp option in VW.


Is there anyway I can do this in VW?


Cheers Andreas


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
On 5/30/2017 at 3:09 PM, Alan Woodwell said:

Why not just use 2 viewports, one hidden line or wireframe without the roof and the other render just the shadows and place it below the other?



The real trick is getting it to work with an animation, which viewports wont allow. I tried a number of different combinations of shader settings with various textures to try and get one that allowed you to see through it but ALSO block light, and I do not think (with textures) that it's currently possible. Going to put in a wishlist request for a few different "fake" shader types to accomplish things like this, as well as one that may make it easier to grab shadows and place them in a composite scene more easily as discussed in this thread:



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On 20/05/2017 at 10:08 PM, markdd said:

Investigate the Heliodon tool and export a movie from that. I have built a sort of hood over my model to mask off the sun. Just temporarily hide all the other geometry on a separate layer. Would that be a good work around for you?

Drawing and animation below.....


Los Angeles March 16.mov

I have edited my earlier post to add an animation. Unless I have missed the point, this works really well as a workaround and was really easy to achieve.


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On 9/8/2019 at 1:49 AM, bcd said:

Sorry - I misread your question - this is for Clip Cube in the Design Layer.

I would like to do a solar animation exactly like described in the original post. Open GL is fine. So this can be done? If so, what are the steps to make the roof/ceiling cast shadow but not be visible? Thanks

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