You are on page 1of 42

Page 1 of 42

ModelIT Overview Tutorial


<Virtual Environment> 5.9
Page 2 of 42
Contents
1. Introduction.................................................................................................................3
1.1. What is ModelIT? ..............................................................................................................................3
1.2. What You Need to Know to Get Started ...........................................................................................3
1.3. This Tutorial.......................................................................................................................................3
2. Creating a Simple Model ............................................................................................4
2.1. The Viewport .....................................................................................................................................4
2.2. Create Prism .....................................................................................................................................4
2.3. Create Extruded Shape.....................................................................................................................8
2.4. Create Pyramid ...............................................................................................................................11
2.5. Create Cylinder ...............................................................................................................................12
2.6. Adding Glazing to a Model ..............................................................................................................13
2.7. Adding a Hole to a Surface .............................................................................................................21
2.8. Applying "Simple Model" to Application ..........................................................................................25
3. Creating More Complex Shapes..............................................................................26
3.1. Prism With Explicit Dimensions.......................................................................................................26
3.2. Extrusion With Explicit Dimensions.................................................................................................29
3.3. Extrusion With Curves.....................................................................................................................33
3.4. Editing Vertices ...............................................................................................................................37
3.4.1. Alternative Method..................................................................................................................40
3.5. Cutting Object..................................................................................................................................41
Page 3 of 42
1. Introduction
1.1. What is ModelIT?
ModelIT is the model building component of the <Virtual Environment>. It
allows the user to create the 3D models required by the other components of
the <Virtual Environment>.
The <VE> is a project oriented system. The "project" contains all the
information relevant for whatever application is the eventual goal(s), this is also
known as the Integrated Data Model (IDM). ModelIT is an essential component
in this process, allowing the user to create the 3D geometry model that is at the
heart of this data. These models consist of arbitrarily shaped spaces with
windows and doors connecting both internally and externally. Holes (also
referred to as superfices) may also be incorporated into surfaces. Spaces may
be created graphically and/or by manual input. DXF files can also be imported
and used as underlays for zone creation.
1.2. What You Need to Knowto Get Started
Standard conventions for manipulating files are used throughout the <VE>.
Standard conventions for manipulating windows (moving, resizing, closing,
etc.) are used throughout the <VE>. Ask your IT manager for help if any of
these processes are unfamiliar to you.
ModelIT can only be run from within the <VE>. To get an understanding of the
<VE> see the document "<Virtual Environment> User Guide" which explains
the various startup options.
1.3. This Tutorial
This tutorial contains step-by-step instructions that will show you how to use
ModelIT. They show the typical sorts of operations that are carried out to
create geometry models for the <VE>. Topics that are relevant in the context of
what we are doing are introduced as we go along. For example, before we
create a simple prism we need to what "lock settings" are active. It is perhaps
useful to read this document at the same time as you run the program.
Page 4 of 42
2. Creating a Simple Model
This chapter goes through the procedures used to create a simple model.
2.1. The Viewport
In order to simplify things we will only use the single viewport option. By default
we get the following view:
The red cross-hair in the centre of the viewport is the model origin (0, 0), also
note the "View Selection" is set to "Plan".
Click on the button to pop-up the "Grid Settings" window which shows the
current grid.
Click on the button to pop-up the "Locks" window which shows the current
status.
Since we are happy with these settings we will proceed to the next step.
2.2. Create Prism
This option is activated by the button in the model toolbar. This pops-up
Page 5 of 42
the "Shape Settings" window, from this we can name our prism, and define the
base plane level (0m) and the height of the prism (3m). Note the "Segments"
field is inactive since it does not apply.
We click the left mouse button near to the model origin, remembering that in
the locks settings the grid option is active. This selects the point (0,0) as the
first corner of the prism. As we move the cursor a rubber-band rectangle will
follow the cursor with its origin fixed at the (0,0) vertex. When the cursor is
positioned at the diagonally opposite corner position we can click the left
mouse again to create the prism. If you move the cursor around you will see
that it does not matter which corner of the prism we create first. If we make a
mistake in selecting the first corner of our prism we can cancel this by clicking
the right mouse button. Having created this prism the command remains active
until we select some other option.
Here is our first diversion:
Cancel the "Shape Settings" window. Go to the view toolbar and click on the
"View Selection" options and select the "Axon" option. The image in the
viewport changes to this view of the prism.
Page 6 of 42
You will notice that in the "Axon" view a lot of the toolbar options are no longer
active e.g. the shape options (Extrude, etc.) and editing options (copy, move,
etc.). These options are only available in a 2D view e.g. "Plan", "Front", etc.
If you look at the "Model Browser" (by default at the left of the ModelIT
workspace) you will see that the prism we have created has been added to the
"Model".
When we go back into the "Plan" view, you will notice that the view has
automatically been re-scaled to fit the prism:
Page 7 of 42
We can use the "Zoom Out" button to re-scale the image so that we can
create our next object. As another diversion you can experiment with using the
zoom buttons
Page 8 of 42
2.3. Create Extruded Shape
This option is activated by the button in the model toolbar. This pops-up
the "Shape Settings" window, from which we can edit the required parameters
(same as prism).
We digitize the shape using the left mouse to click on the required grid points
(the right mouse can be used to delete the last vertex). When we have digitized
the last point (as shown above) we can either use the "Close Shape" button to
complete the extrusion, or clicking on the first vertex has the same effect.
Time for another diversion:
We have created two objects a prism and an extruded shape. If we click on
the "Model Viewer" button we get the following window pops-up:
Page 9 of 42
This gives a "solid" view of the objects we have created, since the default view
is not very interesting we can change this by dragging the left mouse button
from left to right to rotate the view (press and hold the left mouse button while
moving).
Page 10 of 42
Experiment with using the "Zoom" and "Orbit" buttons to move around
the model.
Page 11 of 42
2.4. Create Pyramid
This option is activated by the button in the model toolbar. This pops-up
the "Shape Settings" window, from which we can edit the required parameters
(same as prism).
We digitize the base of the pyramid as for an extruded shape, and when we
close the shape we then locate the point of the pyramid. Note the pyramid
above has its base at 3.0 metres which is the height of the prism.
Page 12 of 42
2.5. Create Cylinder
This option is activated by the button in the model toolbar. This pops-up the
"Shape Settings" window, from which we can edit the required parameters
(same as prism). Note that the "Segments" field is now active, this represents
the number of segments in the 360 degree arc.
Note also we have changed the grid to 0.5 metres for both x and y. We select
the centre of the circle by clicking the left mouse button. When we move the
cursor the circle rubber-bands getting larger and smaller as we move away or
towards the centre. To keep control of the size of the circle it is perhaps easiest
to move either horizontally or vertically along the axes from this centre position.
When we have the desired circle we click the left mouse button again to create
the cylinder. Note that the cylinder base is at 4.0 metres which is the height of
the extruded shape.
Page 13 of 42
2.6. Adding Glazing to a Model
We have created a simple model with 4 zones, to which we now required to
add glazing. There are a number of ways of doing this. Firstly we select the
cylinder by clicking on the button, or click on the cylinder in the "Model
Browser". When an object is selected it is highlighted (drawn in red and each
vertex is identified).
When a single object is selected a lot of options become possible (copy, move,
etc.). In particular we are interested in the "Edit Glazing" button which we
click. This pops-up the following window:
For this simple model we are going to use the "Add by Percentage Area"
option, we change the "% Area" field to 100, and activate this choice by
clicking the "Apply" button. We now close this window and activate the "Model
Page 14 of 42
Viewer" button.
Another method of creating glazing is as follows:
Select the extruded shape, click the "Move Down One Level" button to
move from the Model level to the Surface level (see section 2.3 "Levels of
decomposition" in the ModelIT User Guide). When you do this the viewport will
change to only show the selected object (usually in "Axon"), and the selected
object will expand in the "Model Browser".
Select the required surface (either by selecting from the viewport or from the
Page 15 of 42
"Model Browser"), go down another level using the "Move Down One Level"
button to move from the Surface level to the Opening level.
Again the viewport changes to show the selected surface in a normalized view.
You will notice that the "Add Door", "Add Window" and "Add Hole"
buttons are now active. Click on the "Add Window" button (by default it is in
"Rectangular" mode). In the viewport click on the grid point which is the bottom
left corner of the required window and then the top right corner (the rectangular
window will rubber-band from the first vertex).
The window can be created from any corner to the opposite.
Page 16 of 42
We remain in this mode until we select another option. Create two more
windows on this surface:
We can now go back up a level using the "Move Up One Level" button.
Select another surface:
Page 17 of 42
Go down to the Opening level. Activate the "Add Window" option. Now instead
of drawing the required window click into the "Key-in Field". Type in the string
"dx=1.0,1.2" followed by enter, this will take this co-ordinate as the first corner
of the window. Type in another string "dx=2,1.6" followed by enter, this co-
ordinate will be used as the second corner.
Note that we are looking at the surface from the inside (see next image).
We go back up a level and select another surface:
Page 18 of 42
Notice that this surface is partially adjacent to the prism (the surface has been
split into two adjacencies external and internal connected to the prism), when
we go down to the Opening level we can see this.
We use the "Key-in Field" to create a window first corner "dx=0.05,0.05" and
second corner "dx=0.9,0.9".
We now change to select mode using the "Select" button and select the
window we have just created (this is highlighted in red). You will notice that the
editing buttons ("Copy", "Move", etc.) are now active. Go into the "Lock
Settings" window and de-activate the "Endpoint" option (this is not essential
but it makes it easier). Click on the "Copy" button. Go to the bottom left
corner of the surface (which is also a grid point) click and drag from there to
the next grid point along the x-axis (horizontally). This will create a copy of the
Page 19 of 42
window.
Notice that both windows are highlighted in red i.e. both are selected.
We repeat the copy operation by returning to the bottom left corner and
dragging two more windows (this time moving two grid widths horizontally).
We repeat this operation twice more (this time vertically) to copy the window
across the whole surface. The top row of windows will be external and the
bottom three rows internal glazing.
Page 20 of 42
We could have created the internal glazing on the adjacent surface of the
prism in a similar way, i.e. it makes no difference which of two adjacent
surfaces we use (although it is usually easier to create on the smaller surface).
We go up to the Model level and select the prism. Go into the "Edit
Glazing" option. Select the third tab - "Add by Height/Width/Spacing". Edit the
"X-Offset" and "Y-Offset" values to 0.05, the "X-Spacing" and "Y-Spacing"
values to 0.1 and the "Height" and "Width" values to 0.9. Accept these values
by clicking the "Apply" button.
If we go down to the Surface level we can see that the external surfaces of the
object have been covered by glazing.
Page 21 of 42
We go back to the Model level and select the pyramid object. We activate the
"Edit Glazing" option and apply 80% glazing to the sloping surfaces of the
pyramid. To do this we have to edit the "Min. Tilt" value to 40 (the sloping
surfaces have a tilt of 45 degrees).
2.7. Adding a Hole to a Surface
We have one more task to finish the simple model we are creating. At present
there is a solid surface between the pyramid and the prism, we want to remove
this surface. Select the pyramid and go down to Surface level, select the base
of the pyramid and go down to Opening level. The surface is normalised,
activate the "Add Hole" option. In the same way that we have created
windows, we create a rectangular hole that covers the whole surface.
We have to repeat this process for the surface between the extrusion and the
cylinder. Normally the easiest way to do this would be to select the cylinder
and add the hole to the base surface. But for the purpose of showing an
alternative we will select the extrusion and add the hole to the top surface.
Select the extruded shape, and go to the Surface level, select the ceiling and
go down to the Opening level. We see the following view:
Page 22 of 42
Firstly we want to zoom in to a closer view of the circular adjacency between
the two objects, click on the "Zoom Window" button and select the region
to zoom in on. We also want to change the "Lock Settings" to activate only the
"Model Endpoint" option (this will make it easier to select vertices on the arc).
We also activate the "Polygonal" option in the "Add Hole..." option. We can
now digitize the hole round the arc, as we move the cursor the next line
segment will rubber-band to the nearest endpoint (see below digitized
segments in red, next segment in black). To complete the circle we digitize
back to the first vertex (or type in 'c' when we have digitize all the vertices).
We have now created the model.
Page 23 of 42
Page 24 of 42
Page 25 of 42
2.8. Applying "Simple Model" to Application
To run SunCast on the simple model we have just created, select the "Solar"
option from the "Application" tab and then select "SunCast".
This starts "SunCast" (in this version of the <VE> SunCast runs as an external
application) and automatically opens the current project.
Page 26 of 42
3. Creating More Complex Shapes
In this section we will add to our repertoire for creating shapes.
3.1. PrismWith Explicit Dimensions
If we have to create a prism which is 4.8 metres long and 6.4 metres wide, the
easiest way to do this is to use the "Key-in Field" option. Activate the "Shape
Settings" window and edit the fields to the required values. Digitize the bottom
left corner of the prism, in this example at the model origin, and then go into
the "Key-in Field" and type in the string "dx=4.8,6.4", this creates the required
prism.
An alternative method is to change the grid to some value that fit both the x
and y dimensions. The model origin is easy to identify by the red cross-hair.
The other corner of the prism can be located by looking at the value in the "Co-
ordinate location" field, which changes as we move the cursor across the
viewport.
Page 27 of 42
Another and possibly more complex way to do this is as follows. With the grid
dimensions set to 1.0, digitize a prism to the nearest grid, in this case x = 5 and
y = 6. Select this prism and go down to the Surface level. In the "Mode
selection" field select the "Edit" option. This pops-up the "Edit Space" window,
select the "Edit Vertices" tab from this window.
From the list of vertices select those with an x value of 5.0 (click on a vertex to
select it and use the <ctrl> button to add others), as selected vertices are
highlighted in the viewport. Input a vertex shift value of -0.2 in the X field.
Page 28 of 42
We activate this change by pressing the "Move Vertices" button. The co-
ordinate values in the list are updated. We repeat the operation by selecting
vertices with a y co-ordinate value of 6.0, and input a vertex shift value of 0.4 in
the Y field (changing the X value back to 0.0).
This edit gives us the prism we want.
Page 29 of 42
The technique just described is probably too complex for this example (the first
method is much more appropriate), however the technique can be applied in
other situations and it is useful to introduce it here in a simple example.
3.2. Extrusion With Explicit Dimensions
The initial technique as used above to create the prism can also be applied to
extruded shapes. In this example we start by digitizing the first vertex at the
model origin. The next point is 5.6 metres along the x-axis, which we create by
inputting in the "Key-in field" the string "dx=5.6,0". This gives the following:
We now type in the string "x=8,2" (we could also have digitized to this grid
position).
Page 30 of 42
We now input the string "dx=0,2.5"
We now input the string "p=2,45", this defines a line of length 2 metres at an
angle of 45 degrees (polar co-ordinates). The standard conventions are used
for the input of angles [0 degrees is East and positive angles rotate anti-
clockwise].
Page 31 of 42
We now input the string "dx=-4.25,0"
We now input the string "p=4,225"
Page 32 of 42
We create the final vertex by digitizing to the grid co-ordinate (0,5).
We close the shape by typing 'c' in the viewport window.
Page 33 of 42
3.3. Extrusion With Curves
When creating an extruded shape at any time after the first vertex you can
activate the "Draw Arc" option. The "Arc Settings" window pops-up
allowing the user to edit the "Sweep" and "Segments" values. The rubber-band
line to the next vertex changes to the cursor, which indicates that the user
should select the centre of the arc. This distance from the last vertex gives the
radius of the arc and together with the input values defines the arc.
Input as above defines the following arc. Click the right mouse button to cancel
Page 34 of 42
this option and return to conventional digitizing.
Note from the above example that positive "Sweep" angles are clockwise and
negative are anti-clockwise. We digitize a few more vertices and then re-
activate the "Draw Arc" option.
If we click the left mouse button again we get another set of arc segments from
the same centre position.
Page 35 of 42
We exit from the arc option and manually digitize the next vertex. We re-
activate the "Draw Arc" option and change the "Sweep" to +90. With the
selected arc centre we get the following arc.
We continue and finish with the following arc.
Page 36 of 42
To summarize the arcs we have created to create this extrusion look at the
following image.
We manually digitized the first two vertices then activated the "Draw Arc"
option, we defined A as the centre of the arc and specified a "Sweep" of -90
with 6 "Segments". This generated the vertices labeled "1" to "6". We then
Page 37 of 42
canceled the "Draw Arc" option, which remains active, by clicking the right
mouse button. We manually digitized the next three vertices and re-activated
the "Draw Arc" option selecting vertex B as the centre of the arc, this creates
the next 6 vertices. We click the left mouse button again to continue this same
arc with another 6 vertices. We cancel the arc option and digitize the next
vertex. We re-activated the "Draw Arc" option and edit the sweep to +90
without changing the segments value. When we select the centre of this arc at
vertex D, the arc is created in a clockwise direction. We cancel again and
digitize the next vertex. We re-activate the "Draw Arc" option for the final time
with the same parameters with vertex E as the centre. Note that the radius of
this arc is bigger than the previous arcs. To close the extrusion we cancel the
arc option and manually digitize on the first vertex, which completes the
process.
This "Draw Arc" option can also be used when digitizing the base of a pyramid.
3.4. Editing Vertices
In this example we have created two cylinders, a smaller cylinder on top of a
larger, both having the same number of segments, as shown below.
We want to edit the top surface of the larger cylinder to fit the upper cylinder,
note that although this changes the geometry of the object, topologically it is
the same.
Page 38 of 42
We select the lower cylinder and go down to the Surface level and select the
"Edit" option, we go into the "Edit Vertices" tab:
Set the viewport to a "Plan" view, select the first vertex on the top surface of
the object:
Now click the "Edit Vertex" button in the top left corner of the window, this
enters a mode where the selected vertex can be dragged to the required
position (the "Locks" should be set to "Vertex" in this example).
Page 39 of 42
The selected vertex is snapped on to the equivalent vertex in the inner
cylinder. This process is repeated for each vertex in turn until the upper surface
of the cylinder has been shrunk to the inner cylinder.
Note that this process may be performed along any axis, with the only
restriction that the final edited object must consist of planar surfaces i.e.
Page 40 of 42
surfaces cannot be warped.
3.4.1. Alternative Method
Another method of editing vertices is to select vertices by clicking the left
mouse near to the vertex to select, use <ctrl> left mouse to add vertex to
selection list. Selected vertices are highlighted as shown:
Use "Vertex shift" option to move vertices:
Page 41 of 42
3.5. Cutting Object
The truncated conical shape created above by editing the vertices could also
have been created by the following method. Create a cone, pyramid with
circular base, the same radius and number of segments as above.
Select this object and go down to the Surface level and into "Edit" mode. Set
the "Cutting Plane" to a horizontal cut at Z=10.0.
Page 42 of 42
Go into the "Separate Composite Space" tab and select both the composite
spaces and click on the "Separate" button.
This splits the divided object into two separate objects, the top of the cone can
be selected and deleted to give the required object.