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Ecotect Tutorial : Position Analysis Grid

Synopsis

This ECOTECT tutorial explains how to position and resize the analysis grid.

Duration

You will need about 15 minutes to complete this tutorial.

Training and Accreditation

Successfully completing this tutorial fulfills one of the practical skills required for completing Level 2 of the Solar Radiation Analysis training module.

Resources Required

To complete this tutorial, open the SimpleTheatre.eco file located in the Examples folder of your Ecotect installation.

Tutorial

Configuring a basic analysis grid

  1. Open the example file. Go to the Analysis Grid panel, and click the Display Analysis Grid button to turn on the analysis grid display. At this stage, the grid is a simple, rectangular plane aligned to the XY axis.
    The default analysis grid.
    The default analysis grid.
  2. Let's configure the analysis grid so that it covers the rectangular part of the stage. The first thing to do is elevate it to the same level as the stage, being 1000mm above the floor level of the auditorium. Go the Grid Position section of the panel, and adjust the offset field to 1000. The analysis grid should elevate accordingly in the 3D Editor window.
    Offset the analysis grid by 1000mm.
    Offset the analysis grid by 1000mm.
  3. Next, we'll adjust the extents of the grid. Click the Adjust Grid Extents button, and then choose the Manually adjust grid extents context menu option. In the 3D Editor window, the analysis grid changes into a three-sided rectangular prism, and nodes appear in each of the corners of the analysis grid - these can be adjusted in the same way as adjusting nodes for objects. The only difference is that if you select and move the node where all three sides of the prism converge, this moves the entire analysis grid. Adjust the analysis grid extents so that it fills the entire volume of the stage, including its height. Once you have finished, click the Adjust Grid Extents again to return the analysis grid display back to normal.
    Manually adjust grid extents.

    Manually adjust grid extents.

    Adjust the grid nodes.

    Adjust the grid nodes.

    Move the entire grid.

    Move the entire grid.

    Manually adjusting the analysis grid
  4. Say you wanted to reposition the analysis grid so that it aligns with the back stage wall. Under the Axis field, change it to YZ axis - the analysis grid re-aligns. Then use the slider below the Offset field to move the grid into the correct position - the overall extents of the slider correspond with the grid extents as you adjusted them previously. Naturally, if you wanted to align the analysis grid with the side wall of the stage, you would select XZ axis instead.
    Change the axis.

    Change the axis.

    Adjust the slider.

    Adjust the slider.

    Adjusting the analysis grid axis.
  5. Align the analysis grid once again with the stage floor. To change the number of cells used in the analysis grid, click the Grid Management button. In the dialogue box that appears, under the Grid Dimensions tab, you can specify the number of cells to use along each axis - Try doubling these numbers, and then click Ok. The greater the number of cells, the greater the sensitivity of the analysis grid results.
    The Grid Management dialog box.
    The Grid Management dialog box.
    The grid sensitivity is now increased.
    The grid sensitivity is now increased.
  6. Reset the analysis grid cells to their original values. Now, note how the size and position of the analysis grid doesn't cover the thrust of stage, as it is not a rectilinear shape. The analysis grid can be extended to include this portion of the stage - do this, select the floor element that forms the stage, and then click the Auto-Fit Grid to Objects... button.
  7. The following dialogue box appears. First, specify the Type of Fit - select the Within option. Under the Fit Grid To, choose the Selected Objects radio option, and set the In Which Axis drop down list to the XY Axis.
    The Fit Grid to Objects dialog box.
    The Fit Grid to Objects dialog box.
  8. Check the Boundary Inset option - this controls whether or not the analysis grid is offset from the edges of the selected objects. Set each of these fields to 0. Check the Specific Cell Size option - this allows you to set the size of analysis grid cells, as opposed to the number of cells. Make of these fields 1000, and check the As close as possible whilst respecting boundaries. option. Click Ok, and the analysis grid is configured according to the specified settings.
    The fitted analysis grid.
    The fitted analysis grid.

Fitting the analysis grid to an inclined object

  1. Select the sloping ceiling above the stage, and then click the Auto-fit Grid to Objects... button. This time, under the Type of Fit section, select the 3D Form Fit option - this aligns the analysis grid with the sloping plane. Configure the rest of the dialogue box as shown in the following screenshot (make sure axial offset is set to 0, and then click Ok.
    Configure the dialogue box as shown.
    Configure the dialogue box as shown.
    The 3D form-fitted analysis grid.
    The 3D form-fitted analysis grid.
  2. You can actually map the analysis grid to more than one inclined plane, and therefore cater for reasonably complex geometric forms. For example, if you select all of the Roof elements that form the ceiling, and 3D Form Fit the analysis grid to these objects as described above, the following is possible:
    3D form fit also works on a series of objects.
    3D form fit also works on a series of objects.

Adjusting individual cell spacing

  1. Reset the grid to the stage and use a cell size of 1000mm. There's one more thing you should know how to do with the analysis grid. Sometimes, it is not necessary for the analysis grid to be equally sensitive across all parts of the grid. We can adjust the spacing of individual lines of cells by clicking the Adjust Grid Extents button again, but this time selecting the Manually adjust cell spacing sub-option.
  2. This time, nodes appear for each line of cells that form the analysis grid. These nodes can be adjusted in the same way as described previously - note how the cell spacings redistribute evenly to either side of the altered node. Note also how the adjusted node is highlighted in green, indicating that it is in a user-defined position. You can manually adjust as many nodes as necessary, in all axis directions.
    Adjusted cell spacing nodes are highlighted green.
    Adjusted cell spacing nodes are highlighted green.
  3. To reset the cell spacing, select and then right-click on a green adjusted node, and then select Evenly Space Node(s) - all of the nodes either side of the selected node will redistribute evenly. If there is another green, user-defined node to either side of the selected node, the even distribution of nodes will stop at this node.
    Resetting the cell spacing node.
    Resetting the cell spacing node.
  4. Select four nodes in a row (use a selection window or shift-click the required nodes). Right-click on the selection, and then choose the Set Node Spacing option. In the dialogue box that appears, type in 2000, and then click Ok. The selected nodes will be spaced apart by exactly 2000mm.
    Setting the node spacing for a series of nodes.
    Setting the node spacing for a series of nodes.
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