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Posts posted by Pascalli

  1. Ok now... as the OP, I think I better weigh in here and clarify exactly what I was looking for.


    Lew is right in that I'm not looking for a pretty picture - I don't care how it looks, as long as it is an accurate representation of the lighting. 


    Curt is right that I'm not too keen on taking on the learning curve of sketchup. 


    When I say I am working with a conceptual plan, I mean the one that I have posted, but I am not using Chief to base the building drawings from.  I am using it pretty much exclusively for the ease of layout and graphic renderings.  The plan has several technical issues that I didn't want people to get distracted with.


    What I am really trying to accomplish is to graphically confirm:


    1) Whether there is sufficient lighting throughout the year to require use of inside lights only on overcast days and in a few rooms. 

    2) That direct sunlight penetrating through the windows in the summertime is minimized.

    3) Where the most ideal locations would be to place thermal mass.


    I would also like to be able to watch the year go by and pinpoint the windows that would most benefit from additional UV/Sun protection or high solar gain coatings in order to maximize window dollars spent. 


    Basically, I want to simulate natural lighting, both direct and indirect as accurately as possible with different combinations of overhang, window size, and room layouts. 

  2. Good to hear about the accuracy!  If I could just get it to properly render indirect sunlight...


    I will take a gander at Sketchup, though I think I remember looking at it once and being a bit intimidated trying to figure out how to make it do things.  Hard to beat the ease of doing simple things in Chief Architect (though it can get complex, as well).


    The only problem I am having now is that in order to see shadows, I have to select "final view with shadows", which works fine, but then when I change the date/time, it doesn't automatically adjust like it did in the video from earlier in this thread.  Rather, it clears shadows and doesn't show them again until I turn the mode on again.

  3. If you want an easy way to put the sun anywhere you want,  without sun studies, just delete the sun angle and adjust it manually and put it anywhere you want, I never use the sun angle. You can place it anywhere around the building in 3 seconds, using degree's of a circle. I may not be actuate but its fast and easy. .


    That works if you are just looking to get sunlight into a rendering so that you can make it look nice, but what I am trying to do is model lighting as close to real life as possible for any given date/time.  I don't want my room to look nice and sunny and then it turns out to be a cave when it's built.

  4. Thanks!


    Ok - feels strange to see someone else working in my plan.  I'm using X5, but the same options seem to exist.  Sorry about the maddening structures - the whole thing is really just built up to help visualize and determine layouts.  


    We get plenty of daylight up north, I swear!  I think you hit on the bigger problem with the overhang and the porch.  The the thing is, though, that I would expect the amount of light in the room to change as the sun moves across the sky, even when it isn't shining right into the window.  It seems as though the software is only modeling direct sunlight, and not taking into account the overall amount of light that would be making it through the windows.  


    I am trying to accomplish two things: 1) determine if I have enough windows to prevent the house from feeling like a cave and 2) calculate the effectiveness of overhangs to prevent direct heat gain during the summer while allowing for solar gain during the winter.  


    Using the outside view, like you demonstrated, I think I can achieve a pretty good idea of my second objective.  I'm thinking that without some sort of adjustment for indirect light, though, my first objective will be a bit more difficult.  


    The video was great fun to watch, by the way.

  5. Ok, I am attaching the plan I am working with.  It should be noted that I am not intending to use this plan to generate our actual drawings, and am more using it to model ideas - it is a work in progress, done by a non-professional.  I just can't seem to get it to render sunlight in camera view.  In the meantime I will start a ray trace to see how it looks.  Thanks for the offer to take a look.  I should also mention that I have tried it with a light (deleted in the version I uploaded) and without.

  6. Thanks for all the responses, everyone!  Yeah - I have added the North pointer, and set the lat-long, date, etc in the cad preferences, added a light to the room I'm interested in, and set the light to off.  Then, I generated a camera view in the room to render what it looks like, and there is light, but modifying the windows doesn't seem to make much difference.  I unchecked the sun in the lighting options (at this point there are no light sources in the list with a check beside them), and everything looked exactly the same.  With no light sources, I would expect the room to be pitch-black, or at least obviously darkened to a night-time appearance.  The fact that toggling the sun makes absolutely no difference leads me to believe that it is not being accounted for.  If I generate a view with shadows, then shadows are added, but, of course, I can't move around in that view and I'm not sure if it actually models the sun properly or just adds shadows.  I will try a ray trace and see how that looks, but those take a long time to generate.  


    This room has south facing windows, and I am modeling for summertime in the middle of the day, so I would expect to see some light variation.


    I did note, though, that the default light source is not showing up as it does when no lights are defined.  

  7. Hello,


    After searching the forums and help files, I can't seem to find any good information on this.  I am trying to figure out how to accurately render sunlight as it comes in through the windows into living spaces.  This is crucial to getting a feel for whether the windows and overhangs are effective enough.  Most references to sunlight settings I have found are in reference to full perspective overviews, rather than actual POV cameras inside the house. 


    How can I remove all light sources (I believe I have figured this out by putting a fixture in each room and turning it off), and configure sunlight to accurately come in through the windows (at given times and dates) so that I can see realistically how daylight will interact with the room when all lights are turned off?