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how can you show shadows in hidden line rendering as shown below?


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Usually I see this done with the viewport's Background Render set to Realistic Colors White, or another Renderworks style with colors and/or textures disabled (though this could be done with OpenGL as well in most cases too), then the viewport's Foreground Render set to Hidden Line.

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33 minutes ago, JimW said:

Usually I see this done with the viewport's Background Render set to Realistic Colors White, or another Renderworks style with colors and/or textures disabled (though this could be done with OpenGL as well in most cases too), then the viewport's Foreground Render set to Hidden Line.

that seemed to work but is there any way to eliminate the grayness and just keep the shadows?


The look I'm going for is applying the shadows of the top drawing to the hidden line drawing below. 


Also is there anyway to control the sharpness of the shadows? 

Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 11.11.13 AM.png

Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 11.11.19 AM.png

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On 16/02/2018 at 3:58 PM, Wes Gardner said:


This link doesn't work for me. Is it blocked now?



Thought I should explain. The link opens the webpage, but the video doesn't start.



OK - works if I use the Mac rather than the iPad

Edited by Gadzooks
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  • 4 years later...

So, we've been using this technique for several years now with our Viewports set to a Background Render of Artistic Renderworks, and a Foreground Render of Hidden Line.  Using a Heliodon in the model set to cast shadows, we've had great success.  The glazing in windows and doors took on a solid fill, and shadows were cast on top of those openings.


However, VW 2022 has decided to throw a wrench in our system.... Now, the shadows from the model space beyond the window/door is casting shadows, and no matter what we try with the glazing settings, shadows from inside the model are visible through the windows and doors.  Even setting the glazing class to None, with a solid fill, has no effect on the shadows beyond the glazing.  Still visible.  I tried putting a roof texture in the glazing, and it will show the roof texture, but still show the shadows beyond the glazing.


This is an obvious glitch.  It hasn't happened with every file.  But we've tried everything we can with various viewport settings, Heliodon settings, glazing class settings, window and door settings.... nothing changes the shadows being cast behind the glazing.


If anyone has any clue what could be going on, your help would be much appreciated.

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  • 3 months later...



Looking at some of the visuals shown back in 2018 other than the foreground and background settings in the rendering artistic rendering options (Wes believe you had a snapshot of it) does the sun/light position need to be set in the model? 

following the steps i get the look minus any shadows. 


using mac/VW2022 Fund/Arch/Rendw.



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Guest Wes Gardner

@George K - yes, a light object (I usually use the Heliodon) must be used...the Heliodon will give you the opportunity to accurately place/predict the time of day and therefore the shadow ... for some of my renderings, to get shade/shadow on the North side of a model (a place where shadow will never be except if you live on Tatooine where there are two suns 🙂 ), I use TWO Heliodon objects and place them each in their own Class...In this manner you can toggle on/off the appropriate "sun" and place the Heliodon at the correct angle (even if it could never actually be there on earth) in order to get the shadow visual that I'm after.  A bit of experimenting will show the result...


Another trick to get your renderings to look really sharp is to boost the DPI of the sheet layer up...the default is 72 which is OK for plan views but for renderings you need to bump it up - maybe to 300 or even 600 hundred - yes it will increase rendering time but in some cases, it's worth it....on the flip side, if you're trying to get your "sun" positioned just right and you're just looking at results, set the DPI down to 40 or so and you'll get a rendering pretty quickly...it'll be blurry but it will show the shade/shadow angle


Hope this helps



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I use Classes for Heliodon alternatives mainly for my Viewports renderings.

Like to match the look of my rendered Elevations by 2 opposite suns to

lite all 4 elevations from a 45° angle at an even brightness.


Can be also used for day/night, alternative sun directions for a special

perspective and so on.


By Class allows to control all viewports to use the desired heliodons.

Just for switching in View Panes, the Viz palette is faster of course.

(But I am so used to switch the Classes there too)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Wes Gardner

Here are a couple of views (purposely shot at a low res.) using Artistic Renderworks - the upper one is "Lines & Shadow" and the lower one is "Cartoon".  Are you getting something different or is your expectation something different?





Screen Shot 2022-07-07 at 10.31.08 AM.png

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I think we've figured out a solution.  This model is in the cloud.  The first photo is how it is rendered in Artistic Renderworks on my machine which has the most recent service pack. The second photo is how the same settings are rendered on my coworkers computer, I'm having him download the current service pack to see if this solves it. I haven't seen cartoon mode before, we usually add color overlays in annotation. 


Screen Shot 2022-07-07 at 10.06.49 AM.png

Screen Shot 2022-05-11 at 1.35.44 PM.png

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Administrator

The Heliodon tool is part of the Visualization Tool Set palette and you can find it in any of the Design series products of Vectorworks, Architect, Landmark, Spotlight and Design Suite. Unfortunately, it is not part of Fundamentals. 

Screen Shot 2022-07-25 at 8.48.11 AM.png

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