Meet “Shadow Maker”

True Solar Algorithms Merge with Apple Maps for Effortless Shadow Drawing

morpholio trace
5 min readMar 22, 2022

For centuries architects, designers and landscape architects have been honoring the importance of light and shadow as well as a building’s position relative to the sun in the design process. From the solar aperture in the Pantheon, to the celebration of the solstice at Machu Picchu, to the modern solar home and contemporary innovators of sustainability, the solar positioning of a building, landscape or space can define not only how it performs but also how architects communicate meaning and design intent.

Ever wish your drawing could magically make precise shadows for you to sketch over? Well, guess what? Morpholio Trace is thrilled to unveil “Shadow Maker” within TracePro. This brand-new tool allows architects, designers, landscape architects, interior designers, or members of any creative culture, to add and adjust a globally designated true solar position, in real time, to create accurate and informative shadows across any drawing.


Check out “Shadow Maker” in the press!

“Architects can now add accurate sun positioning in real-time with Morpholio Trace’s new ‘Shadow Maker’ tool” on Architect. Read Full Article >


Two Shadow Maker Modes

01. Location Mode

“Map Location” Mode combines Apple Maps technology and solar algorithms to allow you to designate a specific date, time, and place to see the precise shadows of that region. As you change the time, date and north designation you can watch the shadows move in real time to help design and decision making.

02. Manual “Free” Mode

With Shadow Maker’s “Free Mode” designers can also go off the grid and adjust or test shadows manually. It’s for that moment when you are testing a quick concept or trying to achieve a specific effect. For example, when testing a curtain wall detail, integration of landscape, or façade options, Free Mode gives architects the ability to adjust the shadows to amplify the intent or subject of any scheme.


Shadow Maker Video: Watch Architect, Renderer, and Professor of iPad Drawing at UCLA, James Akers, demonstrate how to use Shadow Maker in Morpholio Trace.


Ready to Start Drawing? Here’s how:

Step 01. Import a 3D model

Use any software (SketchUp, Revit, Rhino, etc) — just export an OBJ!


Step 02. Set North

Dial in the North position of your model. Simply rotate your model in the preview window until North is up.


Step 03. Set Your Sun

Select Manual Mode for free movement or Location Mode to input exact coordinates. With Location Mode just input a location, date, and time to get precision shadows with “Shadow Maker”. Or you can adjust the sun position freely by switching to Manual and using the dials to set the sun azimuth and elevation.


Step 04. Set Your View

Select your camera mode and tap with one finger to center your camera view. You can also drag one finger to orbit around the model, use a two finger drag to pan across the view or pinch with two fingers to zoom in and out. When you get the view you want, tap the green check.


Step 05. Sketch with Precision Shadows

Now you’re ready to draw! Tap “Done” on the top right to enter the Drawing Mode. Enjoy sketching your designs with hyper solar precision.

Oh yeah.. be sure to share your work. Tag #MorpholioTrace when you post to Instagram to get featured on our page!


What is Morpholio Trace — Sketch Cad?

Awarded ‘Best Apps’ for architects, landscape architects and interior designers, Trace is the dream architecture drawing software. Perfect with iPad and Apple Pencil, Trace combines the beauty and speed of sketching with the intelligence and precision of CAD. Whether you’re making initial project concepts, schematic sketches and design details or just working on site visits with construction administration and high-res PDF drawing set markups, Morpholio Trace is everything you need to be an architect, landscape designer or interior designer in one amazing app.

Welcome to your new favorite drawing app. Learn more about Morpholio Trace.

Why Morpholio Trace for Architects and Interior Designers?

Morpholio Apps are not only the best apps for architects, interior designers, engineers, urban planners and landscape architects, they also now work as a perfect compliment to, and seamlessly with, all of your favorite architectural and interior design software. This includes Autodesk AutoCad, TinkerCad, Revit, SketchUp, Rhino, Pinterest, Adobe Photoshop, Shapr3D, UMake and many more. In addition, your Apple iPad, iPhone and Apple Pencil will never be more exciting to use as Morpholio’s suite of drawing, design and mood board apps become even more essential in your design process.

Download Morpholio Trace for your iPad or iPhone.