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Super Heliodon + Solar Renders

Tom Klaber


I would love for the Helliodon to have a display mode similar to Ecotect's. (I do not think Ecotect exists anymore). But that was a really great way to visualize your buildings relationship to the sun.

Also - while we are on the topic I would love to see solar hour renders like Ecotect had. I could have sworn that VW showed off a teaser of this a couple years ago. I know about a plug-in available in Japan. Lets get that built in! Maybe Energos 3.0

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Yes that would be nice to have as display mode for the heliodon.

Regarding the solar hour rendering, VW 2016 has that as I've seen it at the VW user day over here, but the workshop that shows it is not yet on youtube unfortunately.

However, if you select the heliodon then in the object info palette the last item is "solar animation" and that should do what you may be looking for. You'll get a dialog window with two tabs, the first one for the day and time settings and the second one for the export and interval settings etc. and to export it as a movie. When exporting it will also show in Vectorworks.

An example movie is attached

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Yes - it has shadow movie exports - which are great - but I am talking about solar hour analysis - how many hours a day a particular spot is getting direct sunlight - or how much solar energy will hit a particular spot. Ecotect output of this is the second image I attached. It was very helpful in designing solar shading systems among other things.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Separate from the wish component (which I will totally get to ASAP along with quite a few others on the WishList that I haven't tapped yet because of my crazy schedule the last two weeks or so):

You hide Heliodon objects the same as you do Light objects, Tools > Options > Vectorworks Preferences > Display > Display Light Objects, I usually leave this at Only in Wireframe unless I'm actively doing my lighting setup in OpenGL. I usually enable the QuickPref for it in the view bar so that I don't have to go digging for it.

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Oh, I thought that would not work - but it does.

So it was Plan View where it disturbed and often was accidentally selected.

Will have to set to "never" as long as I do not set lights.

Would like to control Light On/Off in Light Lister only though.

Lights/Cameras are rendering stuff, their helper geometry is for creation and

settings only. Settings should be available at any time and Sun should shine

even when their Class is off.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

No, if things are in a class that is turned off, they should disappear completely. That system needs to remain prevalent throughout the entire package as a solid point of logic. This is also currently how users manage multiple Heliodon objects.

Having users need to use classes to turn off some things but the viz palette to disable others is just increased complexity. I see where you are going with it logically, but there are too many other dependents to make a big change like that just for these objects. Since Heliodon objects are also used for Energos calculations and other things, they have special rules compared to Light objects in some cases but adhere to the big rules.

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Not a big issue.

I tend to have all my Heliodons on the same Class :)

I activate them in Light Lister.

I can understand keeping Classes Visibility absolute.

But what does light lister then add an option to On/Off lights.

And strange for me is the edit ability of cameras and lights either in the Toolbox

by double click or in the OIP. For me it's more logical to keep everything in OIP.

On the other hand, as space is rare in OIP and settings often crowded and,

as Camera and Lights rendering behaviour is quite different than geometries

or other settings, I don't think these Toolboxes are bad.

(If they would finally learn to keep a user custom window size)

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