Monday, June 16, 2014

Sketchup: Solar Study

Sketchup can be a great tool to develop a solar study. Below are three videos I created, two detailed animations and a rudimentary animation to delineate shadows.

 To begin developing a solar study, follow the instructions below.
Go to: Window>Model Info>Location
If you don't know the geo-location of your site, you can always use google to assist. It's important to locate your site so the shadows are correct. Inputting the general city is sufficient, if you don't know the exact coordinates.

Next you need to set the date and time of day: Window>Shadows
 Focus on the Time and Date.

The Summer Solstice, June 21, is the longest day/shortest night, December 21, is the shortest day/longest night, and the Equinox, March 21 and September 21, is where the days/nights are equal.

Animating these three dates will give you a picture of the extremes and median of the shade and sun of your site.

Create a scene on the hour, every hour starting in the morning. Window>Scenes>Add Scene

If you select a scene in the Scenes window, you can hit the refresh button and update just the shadow settings or just the camera angle. This is useful, so that you can rapidly duplicate scenes for the solar study, or to set up your animation scenes once, and then import a new model into your solar study template.
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