Create virtual surfaces

Calculate the daylight indicators directly on model surfaces is not always possible. For instance, indicators such as Daylight Factor and Daylight Autonomy are usually calculated for virtual workplanes in the occupied spaces. Sometimes again the complex of model makes it difficult to calculate on the actual surface. Sometimes the complexity of the model makes it difficult to calculate on the actual surface.

The virtual surface creation features respond to these situations.

The virtual surfaces created with these tools are only used to position the sensors, they have no influence on the geometry of the model and light distribution.

Some cases when these features can be used:

create_copy_icon Create copy

This feature is used to create single copy of selected surface(s) on predefined distance. Distance can be changed in SketchUp bottom right edit box, once surfaces are created. The default distance (70 cm for most extensions) can be set in the preferences.


This feature can be called from menu: Extensions-> De Luminae-> [Extension name]-> Create copy


create_copy_instances_icon Create copy in instances

When SketchUp model contains many instances of the same component/group, surfaces within them should be distinct somehow. Due to the nature of SketchUp instances, it is not possible to attach different attributes and materials to surfaces inside each instance. To enable correct DL-Light calculation and results import into SketchUp, it is necessary to run calculation on 'dummy' surfaces, that would represent the real ones, but be outside of instances.

Tool 'Create copy in instances', creates one copy per instance of selected surface(s) in a separate group. For example if there are 10 instances of the office component in the model, this tool would create offseted 'copy' surfaces for each office instance, resulting in 10 new 'copy surfaces'.
If this tool is called for a surface that is not part of a component/group, it creates single copy, like "Create copy" tool described above.

For each selected surface single copy surface is created and put in special layer '_dl_[extension]_surface'.
All copy surfaces created when "Create copy in instances" is clicked are put in separate group, outside of any other model groups/components.

This feature can be called from menu: Extensions-> De Luminae-> [Extension name]-> Create copy in instances

Define virtual layers

This advanced feature allows you to freely create virtual surfaces regardless of existing surfaces. It is useful:



Calculation with 'copy' surfaces

During calculation created surfaces are used for sensor points generation, and are otherwise "transparent" for calculation (they don't have any geometry, don't cause shadows, or reflect light).

Once results are calculated, they are imported onto copy surfaces, and not on original surface.

When a model surface that has been virtual-copied is modified, it is important to maintain consistency between the results and the geometry of the model. Follow this procedure to recreate the virtual surface:

Hide virtual surfaces

The show/hide virtual surfaces button toggle_virtual_surfaces_icon makes virtual surfaces invisible if needed.