SST_1208 Creating a Solar Study in Vectorworks

Vectorworks can be used for quick 3D modeling. You can use Vectorworks for lighting. If you combine both of these, you can use Vectorworks to create a solar study.

A solar study can be used at the very early stages of the design to check the way the sun lights your building. It can be used to check how your building will affect the adjoining buildings. You can use it to check the lighting in landscapes, and so on.

  • Solar Study From an Image File
    • Importing the Image File
    • Scale the Image
    • Rotate the Plan
    • Massing Model
  • Solar Study Using a Site Model
  • Trees on Adjacent Sites
  • Solar Animation
  • Window Shading

Here are the solar study movies I refter to in the manual:
Animate Time

Animate Date

Window Shading

If the movies do not display or play, please use Google Chrome or Firefox to view this website.
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Read the manual here. 


  1. Thank you, but this is not what I am trying to do.
    I want to show the shadows of an existing house as it is now, and then superimpose the proposed addition new shadow impact on the neighbors houses (I’m adding another story). Idealy I would like to show them “together” so as to see the impact easily (different shading hatches). Any suggestions?
    I thought I could superimpose two different viewports with the two different scenarios, but I’m not getting anywhere …

    1. You can set up two viewports, one to show the existing and one to show the proposed, but if you want to show them in the same viewport, that’s a bit more tricky. You will have to have a solution that shows the two different shadows. The trouble is that one shadow will obliterate the other. One way I can think of is to use the render bitmap tool to create the shadows, then change the opacity of the bitmap so you can see through it. Do this for both situations and overlap them, then adjust the opacity so that you can see each bitmap.

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