Why is my outdoor area seemingly always in shade?

When I create an object on the ground to investigate shading, why is it apparently always 100% in shade and its shading mask completely black?

When you create an object in Ecotect, it tries to be a bit intuitive in working out what you intended. If you create a planar surface on the ground plane, Ecotect assumes that you want this to be a floor beneath other geometry. Thus it assigns it as a FLOOR object with it's surface normal facing downwards. As a result, it will always be in shade as it faces the ground.

Figure 1 - The default surface normal of horizontal objects created on the ground plane.

Figure 1 - The default surface normal of horizontal objects created on the ground plane.

To solve this, simply select the object and choose the Modify » Reverse Normals menu item. You can view the direction of its surface normal by either:

  • Selecting the Display » Surface Normals menu item to show for all visible objects.
  • Selecting the Display » Show Selection Normal menu item to show only for selected objects.

If you create a flat planar object slightly above the ground, you will notice that it is assigned as a CEILING with its surface normal facing upwards.

Figure 2 - The default surface normal of horizontal objects created at some distance above the ground plane.

Figure 2 - The default surface normal of horizontal objects created at some distance above the ground plane.




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