The sun can have a dramatic effect on your project’s look and feel. Additionally to being able to quickly adjust the sun directly in the Enscape window, Enscape can also interpret the Geolocation and Time of Year settings in the host CAD software for the sun to be positioned correctly.
Generally speaking the Sun Settings and Geolocation are adjusted in the CAD software, and the Geolocation will affect the position of the Sun when adjusting the time of year.
Revit’s Sun Settings allow you to adjust the sun, the geolocation, and the time of year for your project. With Revit’s Sun Settings window open, make sure that the Solar Study is set to “Still”.
You can freely set the date and time under the Settings section and by clicking on the 3 dots next to the Location option in the Sun Settings window. Revit’s Location Weather and Site dialogue box will then open.
NOTE: You can also use Single Day and Multi-Day options and the changes in the Revit Viewport will be reflected in the Enscape window. The Lighting option, however, will not always reflect how the sun behaves in the Revit Viewport window. Therefore, the Lighting option should be used at your own discretion.
Revit Sun Settings Menu
Revit Sun Settings Window
You can define the location of a project by using the “Define Location by:” option. You can choose to define the location by either the Internet Mapping Service or the Default City List.
For the Internet Mapping Service, you can either perform a search, or you can use the red house icon by dragging the icon to the desired position on the map.
The Default City List allows you to choose the location from a drop-down, or to define a more precise location you can manually input the Longitude and Latitude co-ordinates.
When done, click OK to exit the Sun Setting dialogue boxes and return to the main Revit window.
Internet Mapping Service
Default City List
It’s recommended that you enable SketchUp’s native toolbars for Shadows and Location via SketchUp’s View menu.
Select Toolbars Option from SketchUp View Menu
SketchUp Toolbars Selection Window
Once the Shadows and Location Toolbars are enabled in SketchUp, you will see two Toolbars shown here; the first image is the Shadow Toolbar.
The Shadow Toolbar allows you to alter the Time of Year and the Time of Day in your project by adjusting the two sliders.
To save the Sun Position to a Saved View you will need to use SketchUp’s Update Scene option, as explained here.
SketchUp Shadows Toolbar
The second toolbar is the Location Toolbar which will enable you to define both the the area and the topography.
SketchUp Location Toolbar
To adjust the Geolocation, you can either access the settings via the Sketchup File -> Geo-location -> Add Location menu option, or via the SketchUp Window -> Model Info menu option.
SketchUp Add Location Option
SketchUp Model Info
This will open the SketchUp Model window, where you can click on Add Location (which is the same as selecting Add Location from the Sketchup File menu option described above), or Set Manual Location. In the Add Location window, you can either use the search function to enter an address or coordinates, or you can drag and zoom the map to the location you require. Once the general location has been decided upon, you can then click on Select Region which will display a bounding box of the area to use.
SketchUp Model Info Window
Once you are happy with setting the area you want to use, click the Grab button at top right of the Add Location window which will close the Add Location window. This will then display the specified area as the location for your project.
GeoLocation Applied to Project
To access the Sun settings in Rhino, type ‘Sun‘ in the Rhino command line which will open Rhino’s Sun options.
Make sure that the On and Manual Control checkboxes are ticked, then adjust the Sun Position using the available controls.
Simply close the window when done.
If you want to save the sun position for a saved View in Enscape, you can save out the Rhino Sun Settings using the same name as the View you’ve created in Enscape, but you will need to additionally check that you have loaded the correct Sun Setting file.
Rhino Sun Settings Window
By having the Sun Options ‘Manual control’ unchecked, Rhino will display extended options to allow you to control precisely where you would like the location to be.
You can adjust the time of year and time of day under the Date and Time area with the red sliders, or you can hit the Now button to use the current date and time.
Location can be set by either clicking on the map, the location is indicated by a small red box on the map.
You can click on the Here button, which will use your current location if available, or you can manually search by city, or set the Longitude and Latitude coordinates for better precision.
Rhino Geolocation Settings
You can set the initial Time of Day for a View by right clicking on the view in the View Map panel and selecting the 3D Projection Settings option in the menu.
ArchiCAD View Map Panel
Once clicked, the Perspective Setting window will open, and you can set the Sun Position by Date and Time, or by Custom which will allow you to adjust the Altitude and Azimuth of the Sun.
Once you click OK, the project will update and you will see these changes in the Enscape window.
It is then possible to further adjust the time of day within Enscape using the Right Mouse button+Shift+left/right mouse drag. These changes will however not be saved to the view that is listed in ArchiCAD View Map panel and the settings made in the Perspective Settings will be retained.
ArchiCAD Perspective Settings Window
In addition to the Enscape sun position controls, sun position and geolocation can be controlled using the native Vectorworks Heliodon tool. For a full description of the scope of this tool and how to place a heliodon, please also reference the Vectorworks Online Help system.
In the Heliodon Tool settings, you can determine the sun position by selecting a city in the Location section. If needed you can then further edit the city or time zone by activating the Edit City checkbox.
Determine location to set sun position
Edit city or time zone for further control
If you would like to set an exact time of day in Enscape, you can also do this by adjusting the Solar Time in the heliodon’s settings. Please note that the Renderworks Only settings are not respected by Enscape.
Solar Time settings
While it is possible to insert multiple heliodons in one Vectorworks file, Enscape will only display one. If multiple heliodons are placed, Enscape will display heliodon which is alphabetically first.