How to Get Rid of Duplicate Shadows in Sketchup

Featured image_How to Get Rid of Duplicate Shadows in Sketchup

We recently received a question on how to get rid of duplicate shadows in Sketchup. If you look at the picture below, you will notice this model is showing a light gray shadow with a darker gray one underneath. If you have ever experienced this issue or something similar, keep reading to see how you can fix it!

View > Shadows. In order to see if you are experiencing this problem, you must first make sure that “shadows” are enabled. To turn them on, navigate to “view” and select “shadows.” If they are already enabled, there will be a checkmark next to it.

Window > Default Tray > Shadows. You also want to make sure you have it selected in the default tray. To do this, simply navigate to “window” > “default tray” and click on “shadows.” Now there should be a tab in the default tray where you can edit them.

Understanding Duplicate Shadows in Sketchup

The reason Sketchup displays two separate shadows is that the model essentially has two. For example, if you were to model a building with no terrain or ground plane you may only want to show one shadow option. You can edit these and other options in the default tray.

duplicate shadows in Sketchup

Edit Shadows. Open the “shadows” tab in the “default tray.” You will see a variety of sliders and options you can edit. The “light” slider changes the opacity. The “date” and “time” sliders will change the angle of them. If you want longer shadows, choose a winter month. If you want shorter ones, choose a summer month.

duplicate shadows in Sketchup options

For now, we will focus on the “display” options. These change where the duplicate shadows in Sketchup are being cast. For example, “on faces” means they are cast on geometry and “on ground” means they are being cast on the ground plane. In this model, if we uncheck “on ground,” the light gray one goes away.

hiding duplicate shadows in Sketchup

You will notice that the edge of the shadow gets cut off because there is no geometry drawn beyond the ground plane. If you want to still show the entire thing, just simply extend the ground plane until the entire outline can be seen.

cutting off duplicate shadows in Sketchup

Alternatively, you can uncheck “on faces” and bring everything up to the ground plane of Sketchup. This way, you don’t have to extend anything you’ve already modeled and the shadows will be cast evenly on the ground plane. Just make sure the base of your model is aligned with the ground plane(which starts at the world origin) to ensure they line up correctly.

ground plane duplicate shadows in Sketchup

Next time you have a problem with duplicate shadows in Sketchup, follow these steps to fix it! What other problems have you encountered in Sketchup? Let us know in the comments below! If you’re looking for other quick fixes to common problems in Sketchup check out 5 Sketchup Mistakes Every Beginner Makes or 5 Unconventional Sketchup Tips You May Not be Aware of. Want even more tutorials? Take a look at our tutorials page to find articles for every skill level!

Happy Hacking!


  1. allstarcarpetandtiles June 24, 2019 at 10:31 am #

    Great tips. I’m bookmarking this page. Its a great resource to keep. Thanks for sharing.

  2. hamzakhan17826 May 19, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    Ok sure, I will follow your steps before going to do exams. I hope your article will help me more.

  3. karlmistos May 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely share this with my classmates at de la salle zobel.

  4. classboat01 October 17, 2018 at 7:37 am #

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  5. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  6. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  7. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  8. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  9. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  10. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  11. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

  12. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  13. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  14. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  15. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  16. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  17. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  18. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  19. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  20. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  21. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  22. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  23. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  24. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  25. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #


    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.


  26. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  27. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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