Archive site for Autodesk Ecotect Analysis educational resources, notes and tutorials



SolarTool: Model Menu

3D Model Context Menu

The Model Menu can be invoked within the context of the display area in the 3D Window Model. You can display it using the Window Context Menu button whilst the mouse is within the main work area or by clicking and releasing the right mouse button.

View

The items in this sub-menu allow you to change the projection with which the model is drawn.

Plan - Displays the model in plan view. This is an orthographic projection as viewed from directly above (0,0,1). Only the X and Y axis are visible.

Side - Displays the model in side view. This is an orthographic projection as viewed from the positive X axis (1,0,0). Only the Y and Z axis are visible.

Front - Displays the model in front view. This is an orthographic projection as viewed from the negative Y axis (0,-1,0). Only the X and Z axis are visible.

Perspective - Displays the model in perspective projection. This view always focuses on the centre of the model grid with the distance from the eye point being a function of the size of the grid and the perspective lens setting.

Daily sun-path

Daily Sun Path

Displays the sun-path for the current day as a dotted line running across the model. When this is displayed, you can click and drag the sun with the left mouse button. Hold down the Control key to update the shadow display in real time. You can also use the Shift key to interactively change the current date as you drag.

Annual sun-path

Annual Sun Path

Displays the path of the sun through the sky for the first day of each month of the year. The first six months (Jan-Jun) are shown as solid blue whilst the second six months (Jul-Dec) are shown as a dotted line. Each hour of the day is shown as a figure-8 due to the analemma effect.

Shading Effects

Check this option to render each surface with a colour determined by the angle of incidence of light from the Sun. This produces slightly more realistic renderings by allowing you to distinguish between surfaces in direct Sun and those in shade.

Anti-Aliasing

Checking this option to have Solar Tool reduce the pixel jaggedness of lines drawn in the model. This will result in a smoother looking image, but will take slightly longer to render.

Show Node Hints =

When checked, this option displays a tooltip when you move the mouse over any of the interactive nodes in the model. Nodes are shown as small red polyhedrons at specific points within the model and allow you to click and drag them to change model parameters. The tooltip indicates which parameter the node changes.

Always Fully Redraw

Some older computers without hardware accelerated graphics cards may not be able to redraw the OpenGL image fast enough to a produce smooth animation as you move around the model and drag its nodes. Unchecking this option will display the model in wireframe during all interactive manipulations and only fully redraw when the interactive action is complete.

Animate Time

Choose this item to animate the Sun through the Sky from sunrise to sunset on the current day. The speed of the animation is controlled in the Shadow Panel.

Animate Time

Choose this item to animate the Sun through the Sky from the 1st January to 31st December at the current hour. The speed of the animation is controlled in the Shadow Panel.

Reset OpenGL Display

Just in case the OpenGL hardware encounters a hiccup, use this item to re-initialise the display area and solve the problem.

Settings

Displays the Settings Dialog for adjusting application-wide options and user preferences.

SolarTool: Sketch Panel
SolarTool: Sun-Path Menu

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