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Set Landscape


Use the toolbar Scene to manage the landscape background.



The landscape


All the products of the Shadow Analyzer Collection display a flat landscape as a background of the scene objects.


The empty scene does not display a landscape. It displays only a text with some hints on the black background.


Once the very first object is created, it appears on the background of the horizontal plane of the landscape. 


By default, the color of the horizontal plane (as well as the color of the random spots on it) is green. Therefore, you see the monotonic green field as the background of the scene. The field is a little bit darker near the horizon, because the color gradient is applied automatically to the perspective projection. 


Objects cast shadows on the horizontal plane of the landscape by default (you can hide these shadows only together with the entire landscape).



Set the landscape color and the color of random spots


Activate a desired scene (click on any of its 3D view windows). 


Use the button "Landscape Color" to call the Color dialog to change the color of the horizontal plane.


Use the button "Spot Color" to call the Color dialog to change the color of the random spots on the horizontal plane.



The Color dialog window


When you click on the button "Landscape Color" or "Spot Color", you call the Color dialog. The Color dialog is a part the Windows system installed on your PC. The Color dialog has two lists of colors: "Basic colors" and "Custom colors". The list of basic colors is predefined by the Windows system. The list of custom colors is the temporary list that you can use to remember some frequently using colors within a session with the Shadow Analyzer. It is not stored between the sessions.


When you call the Color dialog, the Color dialog shows initially the color of the selected item ("Landscape Color" or "Spot Color"). If you plan to use this color for another item (or for some objects of the scene), click on the "Add to Custom colors" button of the Color dialog.  


If you are going to set another color for the selected item, choose a color either from basic colors (click on one of small windows on the left side of the Color dialog) or from the color matrix (click inside the large square window on the right side of the Color dialog), or use one of the custom colors. 


While all these manipulations, the "Color/Solid" window of the Color dialog can change its color many times. Each time it represents your latest choice. Just this color will be applied to the selected item ("Landscape Color" or "Spot Color") after you click on the "OK" button of the Color dialog.


The landscape colors in action


The following screen shots show how the scene looks with different colors of the landscape plane.


Firstly, we set the yellow plane and brown spots. 



Then, we added one more object, set the landscape and spot colors to blue and light blue, and switched the reflection on.



To see the effect of the reflection we need to change the viewpoint. We changed both the viewpoint and the time to get the following picture of the sunset. The sky colors are changing automatically depending on the Sun elevation and the displayed sector of the sky.



The final picture shows how the scene looks if we hide the landscape.



Working with 2D objects


You can use a 2D rectangle as the alternative to the landscape to show horizontal shadows. However in this case, the sky will not be displayed.


Working with 2D objects, it is useful to remember that the coordinate equation of the landscape horizontal plane is z = 0. Therefore, if the 2D object is situated also in the horizontal plane z = 0, then its image (as well as horizontal shadows from other objects on it) can be randomly mixed with the landscape background, as it is shown on the screen shot below. To avoid this effect, set the z-coordinate of the 2D object greater than zero (see the topic Set Object Location).