12.6 Solar Study

To study the effect of light and shadow on a project, use 3D views of a building model. Typical plan views, such as floor plans and ceiling plans, do not display many elements in 3D, so no shadows will be cast from these elements.

To create a solar study:

1. Open a 3D view.

2. Orient the view as needed to enhance solar study analysis.

3. On the View Control Bar, for Model Graphics Style, select Hidden Line, Shading, or Shading with Edges.

4. You cannot see shadows using the Wireframe style.

5. Click View tab -> Graphics panel -> Graphic Display Options

6. Under Sun and Shadows, for Sun Position, click   

7. In the Sun and Shadows Settings dialog, click the Still / Single-Day / Multi-Day tab to create the desired type of solar study:

1. Still: Creates a single frame showing shadow patterns for a specific location and time. For example, you can view shadow patterns for a project in Kathmandu, Nepal on May 10 at 3:55 PM.

2. Single-Day: Produces an animation that shows the movement of shadows at the project location during a defined range of time on a specific day. For example, you can track shadows from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM on June 22.

3. Multi-Day: Produces an animation that shows the impact of shadows at the project location at a specific time of day over a defined range of days. For example, you can view shadow patterns at 2:00 PM every day from June 20 through June 25.

8. The tab displays the predefined sun and shadow settings. To create a new sun and shadow setting, click Duplicate to copy an existing setting. In the Name dialog, enter a descriptive name, and click OK.

9. In the Graphic Display Options dialog, under Sun and Shadows, do the following:

1. Select Cast Shadows.

This option has the same effect as clicking (Shadows On) on the View Control Bar.

2. Select Use sun position for shaded display.

3. For Sun, adjust the amount of ambient light.

4. For Shadows, adjust the darkness of the shadows.

10. Under Edges, for Silhouette style, select the type of lines to use if the model graphics style is Hidden Line or Shading with Edges.

11. (Optional) Under Background, select Gradient background, and select the desired colors for the sky, horizon, and ground.

12. To test the new sun and shadow settings, click Apply.

13. When you are finished setting up the solar study, click OK.

14. Now you can preview a solar study animation by clicking on the View Control Bar -> click Shadows On button -> click Preview Solar Study (this appears only when the solar study is created with single-day / multi-day options).

1. To play the animation from start to finish, on the Options Bar, click (Play).

To export a solar study:

1. In the Project Browser, double-click a view for which you created a solar study animation.

2. If you plan to export a solar study using rendered images (instead of shaded views or hidden line views), check render settings for the 3D view.

3. Click Application Menu -> Export -> Images and Animations -> Solar Study.

4. In the Length/Format dialog, under Output Length, select All frames to export the entire animation, or select Frame range, and specify the start and end frames in the range.

5. If you are exporting to an AVI file, enter the number of frames per second.

6. Based on the interval that you specify, Revit Architecture calculates the output length, and displays it under Total time.

7. Under Format, for Model Graphics Style ( wireframe / Hidden Line / Shading / Shading with edges / Rendering ) select te desired one from the list.

8. Enter dimensions (in pixels) or a zoom percentage to specify the size of the frame in the export file.

9. If you enter a value for one dimension, Revit Architecture calculates and displays the value for the other dimension to maintain the proportions of the frame, and it displays the equivalent zoom percentage. Likewise, when you change the zoom percentage, Revit Architecture calculates and displays the equivalent dimensions.

10. Click OK.

11. In the Export Animated Solar Study dialog, under Save In, navigate to the target folder.

12. For File name, enter a file name.

13. For Files of type, select an export file type.

14. Click Save.

15. If you are exporting to a single-frame format, the animation plays while the files are being saved.

16. If you are exporting to an AVI file, do the following:

In the Video Compression dialog, select Full Frames (Uncompressed), or select one of the compressed video types.

Results from various video compression formats (Codecs) vary widely.

If Compression Quality is enabled, use the slider to specify the compression quality.

17. Click OK.

Note: Uncompressed AVI files can be zipped to reduce the file size.

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