Solar Access Studies:
This podcast covers the new SolidWorks 2014 sun light and solar access study capabilities. This new features allows for some interesting and accurate depictions of how sunlight brightens up your models! Topics covered:
- Introduction to Solar Studies
- How to add sunlight to your models
- Tricks to customizing your environment
- Creating solar axis study animations
- Accuracy of solar data
- Step by step example (compared results)
With the introduction of solar access studies in SolidWorks 2014, I was curious how accurate and easy it would be to setup a scenario of a similar solar "issue" at my own house. My living room is situated in such a way that my TV gets sunlight on it in the early afternoon and since I had a perfect real-world scenario, I though I would put it to the test.
In addition to the ability to add sunlight to any model based on the North direction, location (lat/long) and Date/Time, SolidWorks also allows automating the sun based on either fixed time/variable date or fixed date/variable time. This is what I was interested in testing and by modeling up my living room and the help of Google Maps, I was pretty impressed with the results.
Sunlight, in general, can give provide amazing realism to a still image as well and thanks to @solidworkscare, a great tip on adding "Accurate environment lighting" in PV360's Illumination options can give a nice view of what sunlight might look like in a clear day vs. having it off that would act similar to a cloudy day, muting the shadows.