How Do I Make It Nighttime in Sketchup?

Making It Nighttime in Sketchup

Sketchup is a powerful 3D modeling software that allows users to create and manipulate virtual objects. While working on a project, you might want to visualize how it would look at different times of the day, including nighttime. In this tutorial, we will explore different methods to make it nighttime in Sketchup.

Method 1: Adjusting the Sun Position

The simplest way to make it nighttime in Sketchup is by adjusting the sun position. Follow these steps:

  • Open your Sketchup project.
  • Go to the “Window” menu and select “Model Info”.
  • In the “Model Info” dialog box, click on the “Geo-location” tab.
  • Check the “Enable terrain and aerial imagery” option.
  • Select your desired location from the dropdown menu or enter the latitude and longitude manually.
  • Click on the “Set Manual Location” button.

Note: Make sure you have a reliable internet connection for accurate geolocation data.

Once you have set your location, you can adjust the time of day to make it nighttime. Follow these steps:

  • Click on the “Shadows” tab in the “Model Info” dialog box.
  • Select a date and time that represents nighttime in your desired location.

Note: You can experiment with different dates and times to achieve your desired nighttime effect.

Method 2: Applying Nighttime Materials

Another way to make it nighttime in Sketchup is by applying nighttime materials. This method allows you to control lighting and create a specific ambiance. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Select an object or group of objects that you want to apply nighttime materials to.
  • Go to the “Materials” panel, which can be accessed through the “Window” menu.
  • Click on the folder icon to open the material library.
  • Look for materials that represent nighttime scenes, such as dark blues, purples, or blacks.
  • Select a material and click on the paint bucket icon.
  • Apply the material to your selected objects by clicking on them.

Note: You can also create your own nighttime materials by adjusting the color and opacity settings.

Method 3: Adding Artificial Lighting

For more control over lighting, you can add artificial lights to your Sketchup scene. Here’s how:

  • Select the “Components” panel from the “Window” menu.
  • Search for lighting fixtures in the 3D Warehouse or use pre-existing ones in your model.
  • Place the lighting fixture in your scene by clicking on it.
  • Adjust its position and orientation according to your desired lighting effect.

Note: You can experiment with different types of light sources, such as spotlights or point lights, to achieve different nighttime atmospheres.

Tips for Creating Realistic Nighttime Scenes

1. Use Soft Shadows

To make your nighttime scenes look realistic, enable soft shadows in Sketchup. Soft shadows mimic natural light diffusion and create a more immersive experience.

2. Consider Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting refers to the overall illumination of a scene.

In nighttime scenes, there is usually some amount of ambient light coming from streetlights or other sources. Consider adding subtle ambient lighting to enhance realism.

3. Experiment with Glowing Materials

Certain materials, such as light bulbs or neon signs, emit their own light. Experiment with glowing materials to add points of interest and create a dynamic nighttime scene.

4. Add Depth and Atmosphere

Use fog or haze effects to add depth and atmosphere to your nighttime scenes. These effects can create a sense of distance and enhance the overall mood.


By adjusting the sun position, applying nighttime materials, and adding artificial lighting, you can easily make it nighttime in Sketchup. Remember to experiment with different techniques and settings to achieve your desired nighttime effect.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create stunning nighttime scenes that bring your designs to life. Happy modeling!