Radiance geometric and sky text descriptions can be accessed, edited and exported via the ‘VI Text Edit’ node. Radiance results can be exported in comma separated CSV format with the ‘VI CSV Export’ node.
The short video below shows how to use these two nodes.
Blender has very good animation capabilities and the VI-Suite uses this animation system to allow time and/or geometry based parametric analysis with Radiance.
The video below demonstrates how to enable a time and mesh geometry based parametric lighting analysis.
Radiance’s Photon Mapping capability can really help a backwards raytracer like Radiance achieve good results in situations where it is difficult for backwards rays fired from the camera or sensor point to find a light source e.g. interior scenes with small windows or small artificial lights.
The video below shows how to turn on and use photon mapping in the VI-Suite. The current implementation in the VI-Suite only works with natural lighting. When I have it working with artificial lights I’ll update this post.
If you’re doing building modelling outside of Blender and importing the geometry into Blender for analysis with the VI-Suite there are some things to bear in mind, especially if the other application is not a mesh modeller like Blender e.g. Rhino, Sketchup.
If possible export the model from the other application with the unit as metres as Blender will interpret the unit as Blender units which are equivalent to 1m in the VI-Suite. Also make sure that your model is situated appropriately relative to the origin point in the other application. If importing 1 building for example put the building near the origin point before exporting.
For most types of analyses with the VI-Suite exporting the geometry as one OBJ or 3ds object can be useful as it makes manipulation of the geometry in Blender a bit easier. If doing an EnergyPlus simulation with EnVi, exporting an object for each thermal zone you wish to simulate is optimal.
Applications like Rhino and Sketchup also have to convert their native geometry for export to 3ds or OBJ files for import into Blender, and this conversion can lead to very messy mesh geometry. The Blender tools ‘Remove Doubles’ and ‘Limited Dissolve’ can help you clean up this geometry.
The video below shows how to prepare imported geometry in Blender for simulation with the VI-Suite.