In a similar to fashion to how we can use Ecotect to analyse shadows, it is also possible to analyse reflections from particular objects in our model. This Ecotect tutorial explains how to assign an object as a solar reflector and to display its reflections.
You will need about 10 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 Shadows and Reflections training module.
To complete this tutorial, open the 'ExampleHouse.eco file located in the the Examples folder of your Ecotect installation.
Assign reflectors and display reflections
- To display reflections from particular objects or surfaces within your model, first select the objects you wish to isolate. For this example, select the highlighted items as shown in the following screenshot.
Select the objects in the model as shown.
- Go to the Shadow Settings panel. Under the Tag Object(s) As section of the panel, click the Reflector button. In the sub-menu that appears, select the Tag Selected Objects item.
Select the Tag selected objects menu item.
- Click the Display Shadows button. In addition to shadows, Ecotect now also displays the reflections cast from the selected objects that have been tagged as reflectors (visible as white patches on screen. Note that this is for the specific time, date and location you currently have selected.
Turn on shadows and you'll see reflections now as well.
- Now select the window as shown in the screenshot. Add this to the reflectors selection set - go to the Shadow Settings control panel, click on the Reflector button and select the Add Tag to Selection option. Note how the reflections from this object are displayed in a light grey - Ecotect takes into account the transparency and refractive index of a surface (for opaque materials, Ecotect also considers a material's specularity and colour). These are specified in the properties for the assigned material in the Material Library.
Calculated reflections consider factors such as transparency, refractive index, specularity and colour.
Display reflections on surfaces or objects
By default, Ecotect displays both shadows and reflections on the ground plane only. However, you can get Ecotect to display shadows and reflections on other objects in the model, allowing you to see what objects will be affected by either shadows or reflections.
- Before you begin, change the date to the Spring Equinox, and set the time to 10:00am.
- Select all of the objects in the model. Go to the Display Settings control panel, and click the Shaded»Tag selected objects button. Do the same for the Reflectors as well.
- Turn on shadows in the model. What you now see are where shadows and reflections also fall on the tagged objects within the model, rather than just on the ground plane. You may also wish to switch to the Visualise page, as it's a bit easier to see what's going on.
Have a look at shadows and reflections under the Visualise page.
- To display just reflections in your model, check the Show Reflections Only checkbox in the Shadow Settings control panel. Conversely, you can also Show Shadows Only
The Show Reflections Only checkbox.
- To reset the shadows and reflections display back to normal, click on the Shaded button again and then select the Clear Tag menu item. Do the same for the Reflector button.
Select Clear Tag to reset shadows and relfections to normal.
- Depending on your particular OpenGL hardware and configuration settings, the shadows and reflections shown in the Visualise window may not be entirely accurate. Always compare your results with those shown in the 3D editor window.