Casting a shadow on your landscape designs

User focus brings new visual shadow coverage tool in a fully-informed model environment

One of our early ArtisanRV wins for landscape design was driven by a specific customer question. Building on a user request to be able to calculate, report and manipulate shadow coverage for all model components including planting at any given date in the year and time of the day, CloudScapes developed the Shadow Coverage tool. Up until then, shadow coverage was being implemented by an individual using half a dozen pieces of software and taking between 2 – 3 weeks to process. Available in ArtisanRV ever since, this was originally delivered for landscape design professionals based in the Middle East (KEO and InSite) over 5 years ago, considerably improving efficiency by cutting time down to minutes rather than days/weeks!

The Shadow Coverage Tool in ArtisanRV

As is the norm, CloudScapes liaised to fully understand the key factors before delivering the solution quickly back then – and making the functionality available to all users in the very next update.
In June 2023, a new requirement was identified by another leading landscape architect, this time operating out of Atkins, also based in the Middle East. The Shadow Coverage tool simulates shadow, is geo-referenced for location and orientation and, taking into consideration the date and time, automatically casts over 2 million “rays” from the sun to the target area within ArtisanRV. The resulting shadows are cast within the model; a first sweep calculates how many rays touch the target area (missing buildings and tree canopies); a second sweep calculates the percentage coverage and surface area in shadow and reports this as a simple exportable text note for reference.

Simple enough, and fully automated within ArtisanRV so that the user can move components, recalculate and consider alternative scenarios at the design stage to achieve the desired (often mandated) requirements.

Visual Shadow Graphics

“But wouldn’t it be useful to have a visual graphic of the results?”

At the request of our customer, the CloudScapes development team took up that challenge. Following the sun rays paths, the newly developed tool extension now creates a graphic representation of the shadow in a user-defined plan view. The graphic form can even be fine-tuned to create a smoother graphic representation, just by reducing the grid size.

Cloud Clip: Shadow Analysis and Visuals

See more Cloud Clip tutorials here

Customer asks – CloudScapes delivers. In just five weeks from request to delivery, our Atkins designer now has a powerful visual tool to support their design considerations, as well as the calculated shadow coverage report in basic form.

Just one of an ongoing stream of user-specific development enquiries, the team at CloudScapes really take the time to understand what lies at the heart of the request. They explore the driving factors behind the questions, ensuring they grasp how the user plans to use the developed tool and what the resulting impact will be.

The beauty of CloudScapes’ close-knit technical and development team interfaces between practical landscape design needs and REVIT mastery to deliver the solution – trialled, tested and fine-tuned – and in full liaison with the user throughout the process.

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