DL-Instant is a fast rendering software of daylight ambiances
for architecture and urban projects.
It allows as soon as the design phase to study natural light directly
from a SketchUp model.
DL-Instant is a module of DL-light suite and it shares the same general
Use the most sophisticated technical tools
and hide complexity to give to the user, as early as possible,
valid information and chart inside their conception tool.
3D rendering tools generally aim to generate the nicest possible images,
and provide a realism that brings in the user's subjectivity.
On the oppposite, DL-Instant focuses on the validity and fiability of
natural light on the model.
Beyond a simple image rendering, DL-Instant implements a path-tracing
technic able to calculate in real time fundamental light scales
for the project: luminance and illuminance.
In order to reach fast and precise results, a probe system has been
implemented inside DL-Instant. During image computation (hundred of
thousands of pixels), a right-click on the image put probes
on the geometry.
The probe identifies a spot where computation is done faster.
Probes are computed faster than the whole image and allow you to
study luminous ambiance very quickly before the image is completely computed.
It allows the program to compute the probes with the highest accuracy.
You can watch probes values in the probe window stabilizing in a few seconds,
while the image is still calculating.
Designers can understand quickly and precisely if the project uses natural
light in an efficient way.
DL-Instant is a tool allowing a fast project study before the use of heavier
procedures like daylight factor or luminous autonomy.
It allows to know if the project is efficient regarding natural
light before giving the heavier computation to a specialized office.
The user can watch the project from different points of view that are all
DL-Instant uses the pathtracer
Embree developed by Intel. De Luminæ has developed DL-Instant with
Embree to ensure the validity of computed images regarding
natural light and to keep the compatibility with
output, the reference engine on the photo-realistic rendering.
DL-Instant uses two technics:
an accumulative rendering where pictures are drawn progressively and
where pixels become more and more precise.
a probe launching system in the geometry. Probes are launched by the user
inside the geometry and they are computed separately. It allows very
fast and precise results for probes on luminance and illuminance even
before rendering picture is completed.
This double technic allows to obtain:
- on-going photo-realistic pictures of the project,
- instant value for specific points.
- the power of a 3d rendering tool,
- the functionalities of a light analysis tool.
DL-Instant has been designed for:
- conceptors (architects, urbanists) who need fast and reliable results
on natural light with additional visualisation.
engineering offices to precisely analyse natural light on projects.
Dl-Instant main window can be opened from the toolbar button
or from menu with option Extensions->De Luminae-> DL-Instant->
In this dialog main data are given and calculation are launched. It contains
2 tabs: A General tab with the necessary information to launch calculation
and a Material tab for the definition of the materials that will
be attached to the various layers of the model.
Project Name -
Name used in export and for output files. Default value is defined
as SketchUp model name or 'daylighting_project' if the SketchUp model
is not named yet.
Output directory -
When computation has started, the exported geometry and files will be
placed under the sub-folder named 'dls_output'.
The default folder is the sub folder named [model_name] under
the Sketchup model folder.
View Selection - Allow to choose which view
will be displayed. User can later move or change image.
_Sketchup Camera View_ identifies the current position in SketchUp.
This information is used to compute the sun and sky for the project.
Below is dialog for Custom location
Clicking on SketchUp uses the location defined in SketchUp.
This option is only available for owners of DL-Light or DL-Instant
User without license will only be able to choose between 4 cities:
- Seattle (Washington USA)
- Munich (Germany)
- Wellington (New Zealand)
- Reijkjavik (Iceland)
Outside ground reflection. In order to ensure the precision of
results, DL-Instant automatically sets a ground plane under
the SketchUp model and attach to this ground a reflexion parameter.
This is necessary because of the rendering techniques used. Custom values
maybe defined in the following window:
Sky type - Clear or overcast. The overcast
sky generated is an Moon & Spencer CIE overcast sky corresponding
for example to the needs for Daylight Factor calculation.
Ground Illuminance - Force or autocompute
ground horizontal illuminance. User can generate all types of skies
even unrealistic ones.
Date time -
Define solar position on sky dome according to the location.
Solar will use solar time.
Rendering type - Define what will be
displayed in the image:
- Luminance is the light seen by a user or in the case of
an image the light reflected by the scene in the direction of the
camera. It is expressed in cd/m².
- Illuminance is the light arriving on a pixel from all
the other points of the image. It is expressed in Lux.
Rendering Parameters - Define resolution
(size in pixel) and also number of light bounces (4 is well adapted).
Higher resolution leads to larger images, hence bigger number of pixels
and longer calculation time.
The number of bounces is the number of times the light ray emitted by
the sky or the sun can be reflected on the various faces of the model.
A higher number of bounces leads to more precise results but with a
longer claculation time.
- Force model export - (recommended).
Allow to force model to export. In some cases for very large model,
it may not be necessary to export the model every time. To be used
Material of each face of the model are very important for the distribution
of natural light.
In order to define materials for the objects in the model, it is necessary
to attach to each layer of the model a specific material.
When a material is attached to a layer, all the faces belonging to that
layer have the same material. If you add a face to that layer, it will
automatically have the same material.
The Material tab has 2 parts:
On the left-hand side is the list of layers and the materials already
On the right-hand side is the list of available materials.
To attach a material to a layer, select a material and double-click on
the desired layer.
You may select several layers with the tick box, select a material and
click "Attch/Detach" to attach a matrial to all the selected layers.
Optical characteristics of the materials, colours,
transparency, etc. are defined in the material manager.
To access the material manager, click on the blue ball in the "Material"
The material manager
dialog is opened. This dialog is identical for all DL-Light suite modules.
Pause / Resume render.
Indicates the direction of the camera. The gauge changes the direction
of the camera.
Show the exposition bar.
This option impacts image exposition like a real life camera.
Move the slider to change the maximum exposure value.
It can be used to reach a better contrast in dark areas.
It is also possible to change the maximum exposition by using
mouse wheel click in the rendering.
The position chosen will be the new maximum.
Change the horizontal and vertical field of view.
This option enlarges or shrinkens the field of view (the angle of vision) of the rendering image.
The three indicators allow to change independently the veritcal field of vision, the horizontal field
of vision or the zoom in or out
On the right-hand side, the 3 reset buttons allow to go back to the original setting for the computed image.
Any modification of the fields of vision restarts the rendering.
Below is the same computed image, but with modified fields of vision.
- Show/Hide probes. (O)
- Show probes window.
- Add a new rendering window
with the same parameters. (V)
- Export view and probe data.
note: This option is only available for owners of a DL-Light or
- Force camera to target
the center of the scene. (T)
- Switch on/off the denoizer.
- Manage views.
- Save view point.
- Undo a move. (CRTL + y)
- Redo a move. (CRTL + z)
- Opens the window for indicators (DGP, etc.).
- View list filled from SketchUp
and saved views.
- Allow to change camera type
- Switch to false color mode.
- Change rendering type
(luminance or illuminance).
The window for indicators is used to display the values for the following
- DGP : Daylight Glare Probability
- DGI : Daylight Glare Index
- UGR : Unified Glare Rating
- DGR : Discomfort Glare Rating
- VCP : Visual Comfort Probability
- CGI : CIE Glare Index
- UGP : Unified Glare Probability
- Lveil : Veil luminance
In this window, the indicators are calculated for each of the views
that are displayed.
In order to avoid unnecessary calculations, the indicators are calculated
when you click on the Start button on the top left.
Once the calculation are started, they are repeated to follow the evolution
of the image. It can be noted that the values are very quickly stable
even as the image continues to evolve. It comes from the fact that a
very large number of the pixels are already calculated precisely all over
the image and that they represent an already good sample for the calculation
of the indicators.
Remove all probes.
Double probe size. (+ num pad) <
Half the probe size. (- num pad)
Change probe size.
- DoBlink: Make the probe blink.
- Probe Color: Show/change the probe color.
- Select the probe by clicking on its line.
- Double click on the color.
- Go to custom tab.
- Do a right click on white color at the two bottom line.
A window appear allow the user to specify it's own color.
- Name: Show/Change the probe name, useful for exported result.
- Nb Calculation: Number of computation for the probe.
- Luminance: Luminance value of the probe.
- Luminance stability(%): Show the variation of Luminance for all
sample calculation of the probes.
- Illuminance: Illuminance value of the probe.
- Illuminance stability (%): Show the precision of Illuminance for
all sample calculation of the probes.
The palette is used to control the display of the false colours. Each
colour corresponds to an interval of illuminance or luminance as in the
The above image has been produced with the following palette:
Save the palette.
Save the palette to a specific location.
Load a palette from a given location.
Generate all palette from the current renderings.
Add a color
Define the color.
Define the lower threshold of the color.
Add the value to the palette.
Modify the color.
Modify the lower threshold of the color.
Delete the color from the palette.
note: it's necessary to click on Apply
button to update the modifications.
To show/modify an illuminance or luminance, click on the appropriate tab.
Information and Language window
Open a folder location.
- Change the language
- Movement method (F5):
- gpu : fast move, can have issue on some hardware.
- cpu : slower, more stable.
- Denoizer method (F6) :
- gpu : fast denoize, can have issue on some hardware.
- cpu : slower, more stable.
Software limitation of the evaluation version (without a license number) are :
- Location SketchUp limited to 4 cities (Seattle, Munich, Wellington and Reijkjavik).
- No project save in the rendering interface.
- No result export (probes, pictures).
Details on the license can be found in the
license information page.
- Operating system : Microsoft Windows 7, 8 and 10.
- SketchUp: versions 2015 and above
Sketchup extension DL-Instant is written in Ruby and Python. Extension code uses standard Ruby API library
provided by SketchUp.
Graphical interface is written in WebDialog provided by SketchUp,
with HTML files to describe UI contents.
The computing engine is written in C++/C#.
Numeric and visual results given in SketchUp were validated on projects
and compared to results provided by radiance.
Copyright (c) 2017