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Solar Study

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Just curious as to how you create your solar studies in VW.

Presently, I use the heliodon tool, rotate it to the desired angle, set it to the correct time, location and date, then create a FQRW rendering to get shadows. Is that process the status quo?

In regards to aligning the drawing on the page, do you align your site to page north and rotate the heliodon as I do or do you align the heliodon to face north and rotate the plan.

I find the rotate plan command doesn't permanently rotate the view i.e. change views and it reverts back to unrotated view

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Have you tried the Solar Animation button in the Heliodon (OIP)? It works in Open GL (with shadows) or FQRW. It's fast, easy and accurate (as long as your settings are good).

As far as orientation and rotation, I generally draw in design layers using North Up. Most of the time that's how I receive the survey data, and it makes sense. I often rotate VP's in Sheet Layers for better fit, to put the "front" of a building page down, etc.

For Solar Studies, mainly (here in the North) I want to look at the South Elevation view, generally from both slightly East and slightly West. For these views I use RW's Cameras (and/or Saved Views), then I use the Solar Animation button in the Heliodon as above...

And yes, Rotate Plan is a temporary setting. I often find myself annoyed that top/plan unrotates the view. But that's the intent of the Rotate. Two ways to adapt: one, create a Saved View of the rotated plan (and remember to use it), two, rotate the data in the design layers to conform with your needs (in other words, think it through in advance and set it up that way).

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Thanks Peter, yes I have tried the Solar Animation function and I get good results from it.

I remember reading a short training manual on creating a solar study which involved rotating viewports, using classes and the set sun position command. I think that was applicable mainly to earlier versions of VW, prior to the introduction of the heliodon tool in VW 2012.

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I'm using VW2013 w/Renderworks.

a picture is worth a thousand words:

The attached images shows a 3D site model with a mass model and image props (trees) on it so I can review a GL shadow solar study.

The images shows my heliodon and my OIP (Object Info Palette).

I have View>Rendering>GL Options> show Shadows checked yet I cannot get shadows.

What do I need to try next?

Do you have to model the site a specific way to create shadows?

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Yes, the result was no different than Open GL. However, I decided to purge the original heliodon & add another one.

I'm sure there's a rational explanation, but now I CAN see Open GL shadows. (see image)

Do you know why replacing the heliodon solved my problem?

Do we have to place the heliodon after creating the model? Do we have to place the heliodon after selecting "show shadows" in Open GL render options?

I want to avoid the error in the future. Now I know if I see solar models in total shade to replace the heliodon to see if it works.

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Eric, I have no idea why that happened. I would guess it was an anomaly. Glad things are working as expected now. P

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