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 the complexity of the model makes it difficult to calculate on the actual surface.

The virtual surface creation features respond to these situations.

And also:

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 tool is used to create a single copy of the clicked surface 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 in instances Create copy in instances

When SketchUp model contains several 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 the clicked surface 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 'copied surfaces'.

To use this tool:

If this tool is called for a surface that is not part of a component/group, it creates a 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

create copy for tag icon Create a copy for the surfaces of a tag (layer)

This tool creates a copy for each surface of the selected tag, at a defined distance. The distance can be entered in the tool window. The distance proposed by default is the offset distance configured for the extension.

This feature can be called from menu: Extensions-> De Luminae-> [Extension name]-> Create Virtual Copy for Tag


virtual layers icon 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:

toggle virtual surfaces icon Show / Hide virtual surfaces

The virtual surfaces visibility button makes virtual surfaces invisible if needed. The initial configuration is to show the virtual surfaces, the button is activated.