I have, I believe, finished adding features to the VI-Suite, for now, and I am now moving into bug-fixing mode. I do not have the access to other computing platforms that I used to have due to the pandemic, so I am interested to hear if there are any activation issues with v0.6 on OS X, Windows and different flavours of Linux.
The zip file of the source code can be downloaded from https://github.com/rgsouthall/vi-suite06/archive/master.zip. This zip file should be installable directly from Blender’s addon preferences window. I have been working purely with Blender 2.83.6 LTS, and while it may work on later Blender versions I am primarily interested in any activation issues with 2.83.6 LTS.
I have not yet finished updating the user manual for v0.6 but for simple sun path, shadow mapping, SVF and LiVi (Radiance) calculations the process is quite similar to v0.4 and the tutorial videos for that release will hopefully give you enough to get started. EnVi (EnergyPlus) and FloVi (OpenFOAM) have changed quite a bit, and I advise waiting for updated documentation before trying those components. I will post here again when a basic manual is available. Tutorial videos will follow after that.
Any bug reports should go in the github page https://github.com/rgsouthall/vi-suite06/issues and general questions on the google group https://groups.google.com/g/vi-suite. Please include in any bug report platform information, the nature and version of the Blender install and any relevant terminal output.
As some people have been asking what my plans are regarding a Blender 2.8 version of the VI-Suite, I thought I would post an update.
The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that the title of this post skips a version. v0.5 was going to be the last VI-Suite version of the 2.7 series but as 2.8 is now out I decided to roll those changes in to v0.6.
Over the last couple of weeks sun path, wind rose, shadow maps, sky view factor and LiVi have all been, at least in part, transfered over. I am in the process of tranferring EnVi over. There are many bugs remaining, and I would not say v0.6 is ready for usage, but good progress is being made. I’m hopeful that early next year an initial release might be ready.
Once things have stabilised a bit I will post the link to the github repository here.
LiVi in Blender 2.80
An article describing the VI-Suite has been published in ‘Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards’. As the article is open-access, the full text can be accessed from http://rdcu.be/vRj5. The article was co-authored with Filip Biljecki from TU Delft/National University of Singapore and examines the VI-Suite from a geospatial data perspective.
Southall, R., Biljecki, F.
The VI-Suite: a set of environmental analysis tools with geospatial data applications
Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards 2(1), Sep 2017, 23
Abstract: The VI-Suite is a free and open-source addon for the 3D content creation application Blender, developed primarily as a tool for the contextual and performative analysis of buildings. Its functionality has grown from simple, static lighting analysis to fully parametric lighting, shadowing, and building energy analyses. It adopts a flexible, mesh geometry based approach to the specification of calculation points and this has made it suitable for certain types of 3D geospatial analyses and data visualisation.
As this is the first paper that describes the VI-Suite the article can be used to cite the VI-Suite. The bibtext formatted citation can be downloaded here.
An image from the paper is shown below.
Annual irradiance on a building facade
Version 0.4.11 has now been released. This version contains a number of bug fixes and new features, including the ability to create a sun path with hourly or monthly suns and a new Sky View Factor node. A zip file containing the VI-Suite addon for Blender version 2.7.8 has also been released for Linux 64bit systems. See the changelog page for more details.
The sky view factor (or VI SVF) node operates in a similar manner to the Shadow Map node except that instead of checking if a point can be seen from the perspective of simulated sun positions it is checked if it can be seen from different portions of the sky. The sky can be subdivided into 145 portions (Tregenza) 577 portions (Reinhart 577) or 2305 portions (Reinhart 2305). Accuracy and simulation time increases with each one.
The VI Sky View Factor node can be added through the ‘Analysis Nodes’ menu. An image of the node is shown below. Options are similar as for the Shadow Map node except there is no location input required and no time options, as sky view factor is location and time independent. The ‘Results Out’ socket can be used to save the results to CSV file.
Sky View Factor Node
An example analysis with a 3D city model of the Hague in the Netherlands can be seen below.
Sky View Factor analysis of the Hague. Model provided courtesy of Filip Biljecki.