Shadows in Blender

I’m looking for an application that let’s me put a house and a light source (the sun) to see how the shadow of the house changes thru the day (as the some raises and then sets)

Is it Blender useful for this?


Hm, you’d have to test that out. Blender has no physical Sun settings, which lets you define daytime / place / date like you can in Kerkythea.
But nevertheless you could do that all on your own by simply modeling the house, defining the cardinal directions as you need them and place your sun accordingly…than a simple animation in which the sunlight circles around the house should do the trick.

But I’m not sure if that is a physically correct solution.

you could do it but you would have to know a lot of math and positions
3dmax has a sun that you can set the time and location
then key change the time to show animated real sun

I don’t know about other apps. It is possible in Blender. Make a House. Put your SUN i.e. light on top of the house. Animate that SUN light and see the effect.

sounds like a good idea for a useful python script…
As Myke pointed out, the Kerkythea renderer does it, and you can download a version of blender with Kerkythea integrated. (Don’t have the link handy, perhaps you can google it)

I’m going to try it out.

You also need this:

After installing it, it can not render the default scene correctly. I get a black cube even though I set the color to red.

Realistic skies illumination and clouds was part of last years SOC that (as expected) never got finished. Maybe there is a test build lurking somewhere? You could even simulate atmospheric pollution with it.

In the meanwhile, like everything else it surely can be faked. First you need an ambient light in the form of a weak blue hemi lamp (for morning scenes) ALWAYS TURN OFF SPECULAR FOR HEMI LAMPS. Then add a sun lamp. This is your primary light source and it should be yellowish and quite strong. But you still don’t have any shadows. For this add a shadow only spot.
Now this is not very ideal because day time shadows can be very soft. It is a misconception that daytime shadows are crispy sharp. Just look at a telephone pole: the shadow starts sharp at the base but will get soft the farther you go. It is possible to simulate this with area lamps, or with Broken’s new patch.

Also, may I suggest you get hold of Digital: Rendering and Lighting from Jeremy Birn. It is an absolute must have.


Blender already has a script that will accurately calculate the sun’s changing position based on date, longitude, latitude and time of day. See link below. It’s very easy to use and very accurate.