Shadows is a software package for calculating and drawing sundials and astrolabes. Its base version is free. The ideal tool if you want to make your first sundial at home. With Shadows, create and print a customized sundial in a couple of minutes.
Shadows Pro gives access powerful advanced and professional features. It requires a paid license.
Simple to use, Shadows is driven by clear icons and comprehensive dialog boxes. In two clicks, you get your sundial drawn on screen! You just need then to configure it using the toolbars and to print it to scale.
Translated in 17 languages, Shadows is used around the world. It is the reference software for sundials.
Free! Download Shadows
Features of the software
Read the user manual on-line
Discover the article on sundials and the Shadows software published in Free Astronomy Magazine dated March-April 2022.
Design a solar time sundial, or add the longitude correction, or choose to display the Mean time using analemma curves. Or, try Babylonian, Italian hours, or Unequal or Sidereal hours, or even Sun's azimuth and altitude curves.
The shadow of the style can be drawn and animated on screen, with several style shapes (gnomon, polar style, triangular, eye piece).
Build your first sundial
Choose a place to install your sundial
Sundials made by Shadows users
With Shadows Pro, draw the sundial in 3D, rotate around, zoom into details. Change the shape of the style, visualize the shadow, change the wall declination to find the most interesting layout.
Export the 3D model in .OBJ format and 3D-print it in color!
Shadows Pro comes with a pre-defined collection of multiple sundial models displayed in 3D: diptych sundial, gnomonic cube, hexagonal or octogonal polar cylinder.
Use this great educational tool to better understand how sundials are made.
With Shadows Pro, you can also draw and use several types of astrolabes, on screen, including the magnificent planispheric astrolabe.
This feature is totally unique, and you'll love the great quality and accuracy of the layout.
By printing each element separately, you will be able to build your own astrolabe, very easily.
"I must commend you for developing such a magnificent tool for the dialist and dial-minded among us. Shadows is surely a major contribution to the field, and I am looking forward to exploring the software's capabilities. Thank you for your dedication in bringing such a magnificent idea to fruition."
"Thanks for making Shadows available. I am a professional astronomer and we frequently have requests from the public re the design of sundials. Hopefully your program will prove useful in answering these questions."
"What a brilliant program! You must be very passionate about sundials to develop such an in-depth program and to photograph all those different sundials around France. When I came across your program I thought it would build just a horizontal sundial. I did not know that all those other types existed."
"Dear Francois, thanks for producing such a fantastic and easy to use program. I have already told one of my friends about it and we intend to make a couple of sundials for our back yards. I have access to a CNC milling machine so I can't wait to produce the hour plate. So much information on your web site that really interests me. Great job!"
"I have just now installed the license file into your outstanding software. Your software is very complete and extremely user friendly. You obviously spent a tremendous amount of time and effort developing it. I will enjoy using it and am looking forward to any future updates, although I cannot see how it can be improved on very much!"
"I purchased your Shadows Expert a couple of years ago and recently upgraded to the most recent version of the Expert level. Very nice software and while I would hardly say that I am proficient at sundial design, some number of years ago (before PCs existed) I did a couple of declining vertical dial designs with pencil and calculator. What a difference. Tonight I will order the Pro upgrade."
A sundial is a scientific instrument that measures time using the Sun, but it is also a nice object and sometime a cultural heritage element of our city. The science of sundials is called gnomonics; discover how sundials work in this section .
Learn how to recognize a horizontal or vertica sundial; an equatorial or a polar sudial; an analemmatic or bifilar sundial, etc.
How to read time on a sundial, include the longitude correction and the equation of time.
How to read time on a sundial? Tutorials and useful links
In gnomonics, we use specific and technical terms, discover the glossary of technical terms used in gnomonics. And to go deeper in the understanding of sundials, check the bibliography to find great books of major authors.
Glossary of technical terms Bibliography on sundials
Sundials can be found anywhere. They are ancient or modern, painted, engraved or built as monuments.
Browse through our photo galleries from Paris, from Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and elsewhere.
Galleries of sundial pictures Sundials of Paris
Sundial - Cadran solaire - Sonnenuhr - Reloj de sol - Cuadrante solar - Rellotge de Sol - Meridiana - Orologio solare - Relógio de sol - Quadrante solar - Zonnewijzer - Zegar słoneczny - Sluneční hodiny - slnečné hodiny - солнечные часы - слънчев часовник - مزولة - 日時計 - Ηλιακό ρολόι - שמש - 해시계
An astrolabe is an astronomical calculator in the shape of a disk in brass with mobile elements and engraved scales. Its drawings are based on the stereographic projection.
Discover the Mariner's astrolabe, the Planispheric astrolabe and the Universal astrolabe, and learn how they work and how to use them.
Understanding astrolabes The planispheric astrolabe
astrolabe (FR) - astrolabe (EN) - astrolabium (DE) - astrolabio (IT) - astrolabio (ES) - astrolabi (CA) - astrolabioa (EU) - astrolábio (PT) - astrolabium (NL) - αστρολάβος (GR) - astrolabium (PL) - astroláb (SK) - астролабия (BG) - астролябия (RU) - الإسطرلاب (AR) - אסטרולב (HE) - アストロラーベ (JP) - 아스트롤라베 (KR) - 星盤 (CN) -