How to Create a Direct Beam Solar Animation
|Using Rhino Render, set up a solar animation to analyze direct beam solar penetration into a building at various times of day and year. Use Photoshop to sequence the images into a movie for presentation.
|Rhinoceros , Photoshop CS5
Step 1: Open Rhino Model and Check Orientation
- For this workflow, north is the y-axis. If your building is oriented to true north good; if it is project-north then you'll need to rotate the building accordingly.
Step 2: Set Renderer and Render Settings
- Rhino Render is plenty good for this exercise. Set your renderer to Rhino Render, as shown.
- To adjust render settings click on the menu item, as shown.
- Adjust the settings as shown. For more detail, toggle the Skylight on. Be forwarned this will increase your rendering time. As you'll be making an animation, this increased time per render gets multiplied by the number of renders you will call.
Step 3: Bring up the Animation Toolbar
- Follow the images to locate the toolbar layout dialogue and toggle on the Animation Toolbar.
Step 4: Set up the Sun Animation
- Choose the Sun Animation icon from the toolbar. It defaults to "Set up one-day sun study".
- The dialogue come up and you can fill it in with settings of your location. If you do not know the latitude and longitude, click "Set" and use the map to set these coordinates. Use your interior perspective viewport for the renderings. Fill out the rest of the dialogue as shown.
Step 5: Preview the Sun Study
- After you have closed the Sun Study dialogue, click the preview button on the Animation Toolbar. This will give you a general idea of what the sun will do in the animation. It will not look like the preview when it renders. If things look correct then you are ready to record the animation.
Step 6: Record the Sun Study
- Click the Record Animation button.
- This will bring up a dialogue in the command line of Rhino. You'll need to click the desination folder command line to set the destination of the renders.
Step 7: View the Sun Study
- At this point, we can check our results in from the target folder. Find the HTML document with your animation renders. This file reads the renders and gives you a smooth animation.
- Loop the animation continuously and consider what the sun is doing and how this impacts the space.
Step 8: Repeat the above steps for 3/21 and 6/21
Step 9: Sequence a movie in Photoshop
- It is very easy to make an .avi or quicktime movie now that you have a series of images. Open Photoshop and select File --> Open. Navigate to your target folder for one of the animations. Select just ONE image, and toggle the check box at the bottom for "Image Sequence". Photoshop will open the image, but it will be looking to the same folder to call the other images to make a movie.
- When you open the image as a sequence, you need to choose a Frame Rate. The lower the number, the slower the animation will run. With relatively few frames to animate, you'll want to choose a low number. Choose 10 fps.
- Drag the animation block on the timeline forward two seconds (2f). This will provide some buffer when opening the animation. Otherwise, the viewer will be able to see the beginning of the animation clearly. Create two new layers and make sure they are under the video group layer. Make the bottom layer a background. On the other layer, put a title for the animation, the animation time (winter, summer, etc) and your name. Stretch this layer in the timeline until it extends past the beginning of your direct beam sun study animation.
- Now export to video, as shown.
- A dialogue appears. Follow the image to see which settings need to be configured.
- If the export is successful, you should have an .avi or quicktime file. This is a much smaller and easier format for sharing.