How Do I Export Just Shadows in SketchUp?

In SketchUp, shadows add depth and realism to your 3D models. By default, SketchUp exports both the geometry and the shadows when exporting a model.

However, there may be times when you only want to export the shadows for a specific purpose. In this tutorial, we will explore how to export just shadows in SketchUp.

Step 1: Selecting the Shadows

Before we can export just the shadows, we need to make sure that the shadows are visible and properly set up in our SketchUp model. To do this:

  1. Open your SketchUp model and navigate to the “Window” menu.

  2. Select “Shadows” from the drop-down menu to display the Shadows dialog box.

  3. Ensure that the “Use Sun for Shading” option is checked.

Step 2: Adjust Shadow Settings

In order to fine-tune your shadow settings before exporting, follow these steps:

  1. Within the Shadows dialog box, you can adjust various settings such as Date & Time, North Angle, Light & Dark values, and Soften/Soften More options.

  2. Experiment with different settings until you achieve the desired shadow effect for your export.

Step 3: Exporting Just Shadows

Now that we have our shadows properly set up, let’s proceed with exporting just the shadows:

  1. Navigate to the “File” menu and select “Export” > “2D Graphic”.

  2. In the Export dialog box, choose a destination folder and enter a file name for your exported image.

  3. Next, select the desired file format for your export (e.g., PNG, JPEG).

  4. Under the “Options” section, uncheck the “Export Edges” and “Export Faces” options. This will ensure that only the shadows are exported.

  5. Finally, click on the “Export” button to save your image file with just the shadows.


If you want to further enhance your exported shadow image, you can open it in an image editing software (such as Adobe Photoshop) and apply additional adjustments like contrast or brightness.

Congratulations! You have successfully exported just the shadows from your SketchUp model. Now you can use this shadow image for presentations, design boards, or any other creative purposes.

Remember that exporting just shadows can be a useful technique when focusing on specific aspects of your model without distracting elements. Play around with different shadow settings to create stunning visual effects in your SketchUp exports!