EnVi has now been transferred over to Blender 2.8, and most of the changes the user will see are within EnVi. The EnVi material system has been converted into a node system to allow up the EnergyPlus maximum of 10 layers in constructions. EnVi now supports the simulation of photovoltaics and phase change materials and you can now save your custom materials and constructions to a JSON database.
The other major change in EnVi is that as ‘Layers’ now no longer exist in Blender – ‘Collections’ are used instead – EnergyPlus zones are specified by the Blender objects contained within collections. This allows multiple Blender objects to make up an EnergyPlus zone, and this has some advantages I hope to make use of in the future. I have not yet however finalised the logic of how muliple Blender objects become one EnergyPlus zone.
In other news the VI-Suite is now completely self-contained within the addon zip folder (at least on Windows and Linux). This means that you can install in Blender the git zip directly, and it will hopefully make it easier to get the VI-Suite working on a variety of Linux platforms.
I have general bug fixing still to do and Wind Rose display to finish, but I am hoping to announce a beta release for testing soon.
There is one fly in the ointment. The Blender 2.8 series does not currently allow the keyframing of custom node parameters. As most of the Vi-Suite parameters exposed to the user are custom node parameters, it means that automated parametric analysis is largely not possible. This has been recognised by the Blender developers and if you want to register your interest in getting this fixed you can do so at https://developer.blender.org/T66392. The more people asking for it to be fixed the more likely it is to be fixed.